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Injured DART Officers Take Pay Cut During Recovery

| 3 hours ago
DART officer Jesse Retana
DART officer Jesse Retana

Jesse Retana is one of the DART officers who was injured during the July 7 shooting. Today he’s undergoing surgery to get bullet fragments removed from his arm. As the Voice reports, he’ll take a 30 percent pay cut during his recovery. Unlike DPD officers, who are paid their full salaries after getting shot, DART cops are paid through workman’s comp. This, I think we can all agree, is crap. There’s a GoFundMe page where you can throw in a few bucks to help cover the difference for Retana. 

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Arts & Entertainment

The Trouble With Private Philanthropy in the Arts

| 5 hours ago


This past weekend, noted arts writer and critic Ben Davis wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times about the recent spate of museum expansions and what they might mean for America culture and philanthropy. In the piece, Davis speaks about the way American arts institutions fund their activities. In short, more than any other country in the world, the U.S. relies on private donations for funding culture. This is something we know well in Dallas. This city prides itself on our many dedicated, deep-pocketed donors who, in the past decade, have helped transform the city, funding new venues in the Arts District, a new science museum, the construction of a park over a highway, and many other cultural assets.

But there is a flip side to this reliance on private dollars, Davis argues, that often goes unnoticed by those outside the cultural industries. Between 2007 and 2014, a study found that close to $5 billion was spent on new museum expansions and construction in the United States, more than the other 37 countries looked at in the study combined. That huge outlay of cash is not simply a reflection of American’s philanthropic appetite, but rather the result of a funding system that places pressure on arts administrators to raise money by building buildings.

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DISD Will Likely Ask for a Tax Hike in November

| 5 hours ago


You want a definition of dorkiness? Two dads playing Golden Tee and talking about education funding. That’s what Eric Celeste and I were doing last night at the Time Out Tavern. He knew about the big news that was coming out today, that Dallas ISD, pending board approval, will ask voters in November for a 13-cent tax increase to fund three programs: early childhood education, early college and career programs, and performance-based pay incentives for teachers. Each of the three programs will appear separately on the ballot, and the taxes for each will be eliminated if certain benchmarks aren’t met. So, yeah, while we were knocking it around Winding Pines, we were discussing the recent jump in assessed property values and how that will affect people’s tolerance for a tax increase to fund DISD. The only way it could have gotten dorkier is if one of us had been wearing toe shoes. Eric will be along on Monday to weigh in on the matter. Expect enlightenment.

Meantime, let me just say this: Corbett Smith, who wrote the DMN story that I linked to above, is a HUGE improvement over Tawnell Hobbs, the person who used to cover DISD for the paper. His story is full of good context, and it doesn’t quote DISD board member Joyce Foreman. Well done.

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Local News

Leading Off (7/29/16)

| 11 hours ago

Suspected Downtown Rapist Arrested. On Thursday, Dallas police arrested a man they believe may be responsible for sexually assaulting women in Downtown Dallas this month. The suspect, a convicted sex offender, targeted women on DART buses and trains. The attacks happened July 3 near a bus stop and July 25 along Ross Avenue. There was potentially a third victim, police say. The investigation is ongoing, and police have not named the suspect or released a mug shot.

SMU Remembers Campus Officer. The university held a memorial service Thursday for SMU police officer Mark McCullers, who was swept away during heavy rains July 5 while working off duty at a home near Turtle Creek. More than 300 people attended the service, which was held in McFarlin Auditorium. The 45-year-old former Marine, who’d been with the SMU Police Department since 2015, leaves behind a wife and six children.

Elbow Room Could Lose Personal Space. With expansion in mind, the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry could use eminent domain to close the Gaston Avenue bar, which operates in a 100-year-old building. The university revealed plans earlier this year to build a new, $129-million, nine-story clinical facility, and they hope to build the facility where the bar currently stands.

Silent March Planned For Tonight. Three weeks after an ambush that left five police officers dead, a local group has planned a silent march for tonight in Downtown Dallas’ Main Street Garden Park. Next Generation Action Network, the group organizing the march, met with members of the Dallas Police Association on Wednesday to discuss the event. DPA President Ron Pinkston said, although he believes the march is happening too soon after the attacks, officers would honor the group’s right to march. The silent march will start at 6:30 p.m. in Main Street Garden Park, a few blocks from where the July 7 ambush occurred.

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Remembering the Texas Tower Shooting

| 1 day ago

Peter Simek wrote a masterful post about the mystique of the lone gunman the day after the July 7 shooting of five officers in Dallas. He addressed the tragedy of mass shooters, who often believe they have a purpose but whose violent acts accomplish nothing more than murder and panic, loss and grief. Because a senseless act can only have a senseless outcome.

On Monday, the specter of the lone gunman will again be raised. August 1 is the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower Shooting, when Charles Whitman, a 25-year-old architectural engineering major and ex-Marine, killed his wife and mother before carrying three rifles, two pistols, and a sawed-off shotgun to the top of the University of Texas Tower. At the end of 96 harrowing minutes, 16 people were dead and three dozen were wounded.

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Sports & Leisure

Two Reasons to Watch the MLS All-Star Game Tonight

| 1 day ago
Kellyn Acosta will play in his first All-Star Game tonight.
Plano’s Kellyn Acosta will play in his first All-Star Game tonight.

Major League Soccer has its All-Star Game tonight at 6:30 on ESPN (and UniMas), which will see the best of the the MLS teams take on Arsenal from the English Premier League. Given its position atop the league table, as well as its success last season, you might expect that FC Dallas would be represented in San Jose. And you’re right: Mauro Diaz and Kellyn Acosta with both be there, and both are deserving.

Diaz is one of the best ball handlers around, not just in MLS, small but impossible to knock off the ball, and willing to try things like this bicycle kick pass. And Acosta — who just turned 21 — is the future, not only of FCD but also the US Men’s National Team. The homegrown player from Plano who came up through FCD’s academy was the youngest player brought to the USMNT camp earlier this year and earned his first cap.

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