Making Dallas Even Better
Question: How do you feel about this new logo for your city? Sure, it looks a lot like Plano’s starry P, and Arlington has a star shoved up their A too. But, looking at some of the others, what do they say to people? Irving has horses, Desoto’s eagle is proof of their All-American-ness. Richardson, well, people all over Richardson are trying to figure theirs out. The winner in my book is Addison, which with its jaunty logo, really spells “Party!” What is your opinion on this move? Are we turning into a regional star like Plano and Arlington? Should we keep the branch of nature in our D? Do we need more marketing? And if you have a recipe of two from the 1800’s, I’d love to discuss. — Amy S.
If only the current municipal governance of Dallas had the same wisdom and fortitude of character that you have demonstrated with your query, dear reader, I might could have spared them the wasted time involved in consulting those ne’er-do-wells who prattle on around the old horseshoe each week as to the possibility and probability of replacing the current city logo (the one which comes garnished by a side of parsley) with the star-emblazoned iconography devised by the Convention & Visitors Politburo.Full Story
Here is a hypothetical: a man shoots and kills a reporter and a cameraman on live morning television. You are an editorial writer for a major metropolitan daily newspaper. You wonder if Donald Trump’s antipathy toward the press led to the shooting. Should you A) go get a cup of coffee and wait a bit to see what develops, or B) put up a blog post wondering if Donald Trump is partly to blame for the two deaths? Tod Robberson at the DMN went with option B. Let’s see how that turned out.Full Story
Sean Weaver is a young guy who until not long ago worked for the Dallas firm Ryan, which handles corporate tax matters. Weaver worked out of a Fairfax, Virginia, office, where he ran a $20 million scam that got him in trouble. Here’s the FBI’s press release from last week. Late last night, Ryan chairman and CEO Brint Ryan sent out his own release explaining what happened and assuring everyone that Weaver acted alone and that Ryan (the firm and the man) cooperated with authorities to bust the guy. That’s just solid damage control, right there. Kudos to Ryan (the firm and the man). I especially like that he ends his note thusly: “I sincerely thank you for your business and your continued trust and confidence in Ryan. If you have any questions at all, please call me at 972.725.0481.” I called the number, just to see if it actually rang Ryan’s office (the man). It does. Fran answered the phone. I asked my question: “How many folks have called with questions?” Fran’s answer: “You’re the first one.”Full Story
UPDATE: Clearly as a result of reading my post, Susan Hawk did the sensible thing a couple of hours later and released a statement clearing up the whole DA goes AWOL situation. She is taking a four week leave of absence to battle a “serious episode of depression.”
I’m going to piggy back on Jason’s poll today and extend the question about Susan Hawk with a request for feedback in the comments. I’m really curious to hear what you think about this. I’ve been following the Susan Hawk regime like everyone else, and at this point, I’m left wondering if she has any reasons left not to resign her post as Dallas County District Attorney. Here’s the situation as I see it.Full Story
For Gabriella Draney Zielke, the big obstacle was dealing with people. Craig J. Lewis’s was convincing his family and friends to “take the leap of faith” with him to start a business. And Jennifer Sampson overcame hers after hearing from one of the most prominent CEOs in North Texas. These chief executives were among several […]Full Story
I know, I know. You are still upset that Barrett Brown is no longer writing his prison diaries for FrontBurner. You consider him a total sellout for leaving to write for Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept. Please, I urge you, let the anger go. Be happy for Barrett. Well, except for the fact that he’s still in the hole and was recently given another 30 days there, in addition to the 30 he’s already done, plus three months of phone, commissary, visiting, and email restriction. You’ll learn all that and more if you read his column that just went up on The Intercept. My favorite part, though, was the following description of his new cellmate. I’m sure Greenwald will forgive the length of this excerpt:Full Story
UPDATE: And, of course, Fingers of Fury has more details, including confirmation that crews are not demolishing the murals, etc.
On Friday Jim Schutze stopped by the Lakewood Theater, allegedly mid-donuts run, and noticed that work crews were busy inside the historic theater. He ducked in and, before being kicked-out, noticed that interior demolition work was going on. This was after Robert Wilonsky posted about the demolition shots that were clogging his Facebook page, including a disheartening photo of a dumpster filled with the theater’s seats. This morning, my Facebook page has also been inundated with updates about the renovation/demolition work. There are apparently TV news crews now on the scene.
But should we be freaking out about the Lakewood’s presumed demise?Full Story
Where In The World Is District Attorney Susan Hawk? That is currently the burning question around the Frank Crowley Courts Building. She’s been off the clock and out of pocket since August 3, and no one is really saying what’s up. Maybe it’s just a normal vacation, but there is a lot of uncertainty even within her own office. Apparently, she is supposed to be back to her normal schedule — abruptly firing people, making odd public statements, and instilling a culture of paranoia — this week.
Rangers Win Third Straight, Nine of 11. Cole Hamels won, keeping the team in possession of the second wild card spot and leaving me dangerously close to watching a game. (I didn’t watch this one.) Also, over the weekend, Adrian Beltre did this.
TERRIBLE Doctor Will Not Have Bail Reduced. According to authorities, Christopher Duntsch “intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly” injured four patients and killed another during botched spinal surgeries, for which he was later arrested. At a hearing Friday, Duntsch was trying to have his bond lowered from $600,000. One reason that won’t happen? This 2011 email to an employee:“I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer.” I mean, what would even be the context for that? “Here is my upcoming schedule. Here is an update about the new parking situation. Oh, and here is a quick note about my goal to become evil. Dictated but not read, Dr. D.”
Megafest Wraps Up With ‘Raucous’ Service At the AAC. Bishop T.D. Jakes couldn’t make it because of an “eye issue,” but it didn’t seem like the attendees minded much.
The Ongoing Saga of Sam Rader, Christian Vlogger. I hadn’t heard of Sam Rader until a couple of weeks ago, when the YouTube clip of him surprising his wife with a positive pregnancy test went viral. Apparently, Sam and his wife Nia (who live in Terrell) have something of a following. Anyway, a couple of days after that was another viral clip, wherein the couple announced Nia’s miscarriage. Then people started to maybe suspect it was all made up. Then last week, after the Ashley Madison hack, it was revealed that Sam had a paid account with “Uber, but for affairs.” And now, over the weekend, Sam was kicked out of Vlogger Fair in Seattle, allegedly for threatening violence against another attendee. I wish I didn’t know about any of this. But because I have to, you do, too.
The D.O.C. Has His Voice Back. The Dallas rap legend released one of the best hip-hop debut albums ever, 1989’s Dr. Dre-produced No One Can Do It Better. (Maybe use headphones if you click that link.) Not long after, he crushed his larynx in a drunk-driving accident, leaving him with a whispery croak. Since then, he’s written rhymes for Dre and Snoop Dogg, among others, and of late has been mentoring Garland’s own Justin Mohrle, aka Justus. Over the weekend, he tweeted that his once-commanding voice has, at long last, come back. I don’t know what happens now. But it would be great to hear him do his thing for real again, at least one more time.Full Story
I haven’t looked at a weather forecast, because I like surprises, but let’s hope we get a little bit more rain. Not enough rain to cancel anything or ruin anyone’s day, just enough precipitation to make this one of those unusually cool late August weekends. It will make all of these wonderful things to do — from a celebration of NorthPark’s 50th anniversary to MegaFest — a little more wonderful. Regardless, here are some suggestions to make your weekend worthwhile.Full Story
Got a really sweet e-mail yesterday from the mayor’s PR chief, Scott Goldstein, that called my attention to a mistake in my September column in D Magazine (not online yet). Helpfully, Goldstein cc’ed the mayor (because, duh, his boss) and Wick (because, duh, actually runs the city). The e-mail:
Good evening, Eric,
Your piece on Fair Park in the September magazine was brought to our attention today. You wrote: “Recently, Mayor Mike Rawlings commissioned a task force that came up with a radical new blueprint to fix the State Fair and reinvigorate Fair Park and its neighborhoods. In short, it would restrict the Fair’s footprint at the park. Unofficially it is called the Di Mambro Plan, named for its lead architect, Antonio Di Mambro….”
This is totally, unequivocally false.Full Story
Parkland’s Moving Day Goes Smoothly. Hundreds of patients were taken into the new $1.3 billion complex on Thursday, as the county hospital’s operations officially began to transition away from the old building. Over on D Healthcare Daily, Matt Goodman wrote about the “slew of firsts” that racked up in short order: “The first two trauma patients at the new hospital were men in their 30s who were in a car accident. The first CareFlite helicopter landed on the helipad atop the hospital at 7:35 a.m., carrying a man in his 30s who was also hurt in a car accident. The first baby, a boy, was born via C-section at 9:40 a.m.”
Dallas Police Assistant Chief Demotes Himself. Tom Lawrence has asked Chief David Brown to reduce his rank to lieutenant. Brown says the request came after he confronted Lawrence about an inappropriate comment he’d allegedly made about a female commander. Lawrence says he’s been considering the change for six months and that the recent incident had nothing to do with it. The president of the Dallas Police Association says the unusual request — which comes with a significant pay cut — is a sign of major dissatisfaction with the department’s management.
Autistic Girl Kidnapped, Raped in Rowlett. Imagine the horror of the mother who became concerned when her daughter’s GPS tracker indicated she was in an unusual place, so she turned on the device’s microphone and could hear that the 15-year-old was being sexually assaulted at a nearby park.
Woman Stole Nearly $1 Million, Bought Roller Rink. Aurelia Anna Campbell was arrested for having embezzled $940,000 over the past seven years while working as a payroll clerk for a Bedford company. Some of the pilfered money was allegedly used to purchase the House of Quad roller derby rink in Denton, which is home to the North Texas Derby Revolution league. A body builder, investigators are also apparently looking into whether Campbell was using steroids.
Gainesville Man Indicted For 18-Year-Old Murder. Christopher Ax, 38, is charged with having killed his former girlfriend in 1997. The arrest was made after Texas Rangers took a new look at the case.Full Story
MegaFest 2015 officially kicked off today in Klyde Warren Park. Half family atmosphere — kids splashing and playing in the kids’ park, people getting food from the Thursday food trucks, and an Elsa impersonator wandering around — and half official, the kickoff served to welcome those who had traveled to Dallas for the event. The morning felt not so much like an event itself, as hype for the weekend ahead. And hype there was.Full Story
Anna Badhken is about as intrepid as journalists come these days. Her reporting has taken her to wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Chechnya. Her writing’s landed her in The New York Times, The New Republic, and in five books of her own. The most recent, Walking With Abel, is about her time spent with a nomadic community traversing the West African savanna. The point here is that Badkhen has a lot of stories to tell. She’ll share a few tonight at Wild Detectives.
There is also a whole mess of concerts to choose from, and a fight club we’re allowed to talk about. Behold.Full Story
The Susan Hawk Saga Continues. You know by now that Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk is taking a four-week leave of absence to battle an episode of depression. And now we know that she will be staying at an in-state treatment facility, somewhere that is not in Dallas. It’s not certain when Hawk will be back in Dallas, but she will supposedly return to work late next month. Hawk’s neighbor, lawyer Bob Hinton, said he had observed stints of paranoia since Hawk became DA at the beginning of the year and that he is glad she’s finally seeking help.
SPCA Retrieves More Than 150 Mistreated Animals From Home. Yesterday, the SPCA of Texas removed quite a few neglected and dead animals from a home in Balch Springs. There had been multiple complaints of suspected animal cruelty. After animal control picked up several dead animals, the SPCA obtained a search warrant and, along with the police department’s animal services, “retrieved 107 cats, five of which were dead, 40 dogs, three doves, two chickens, one finch, one dead parakeet and one guinea pig.” As you can probably imagine, the conditions of the home and these animals were…not good. Thoroughly sickening. Let’s hope these furry friends find new loving homes soon.
No More Stop Signs For Now. The Dallas City Council voted yesterday to not make it easier for dense neighborhoods in Dallas to put up extra stop signs. Who cares about driving safety, anyway?Full Story
Despite a youthful run of reckless behavior and several years of high-impact sports in grade school and high school, I have never broken a bone. As one of many young people who grew up considering Evel Knievel — a guy who suffered more than 433 bone fractures in his career — something of a role model, I used to think of this as a great and abiding shame. Now, I’m pretty content with a bubble-wrapped lifestyle. Leave the daredevil-ing to others, and appreciate dangerous stunts from a distance.
Tonight, you can appreciate the master of broken bones from the comfort of the Texas Theatre, which is showing a new documentary about Knievel. Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen play an acoustic show at the House of Blues, and you better believe there are other things to do in Dallas.Full Story
Why Hasn’t the Sheriff’s Department Released Tape of Jail Death?
It never ever looks good when someone dies in police custody, and the moment is captured on camera, and the police don’t swiftly release the video. It always looks like a cover-up. A combination of sympathetic strangers and Joseph Hutchinson’s family are asking Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez why they still haven’t seen video of Hutchinson’s death — after he ran into the jail asking officers for help — despite the fact that it was reportedly caught on seven cameras.
Home Prices Went Up, Again. This time it was 8.2 percent in June. Only Denver and San Francisco had bigger numbers. Luckily, all markets are always stable all the time.
Orlando Scandrick Might Be Out for the Season. He’s been the best defensive back the Cowboys have had over the last few seasons. Yesterday in practice he planted, heard a pop, then fell to the ground screaming that he’d torn his ACL. Not good. Let’s hope he feels better soon, too.Full Story
A new digital news platform that promotes Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub for innovation was announced at today’s 2015 State of Technology luncheon hosted at Hilton Lincoln Centre by the Dallas Regional Chamber. The DRC is partnering with D Magazine Partners on the initiative, called Dallas Innovates.Full Story
The Von Erich wrestling family, who D Magazine wrote about in one of its 40 greatest stories, features prominently in a new photo exhibition at the University of Texas at Arlington. Ringside: Memories of World Class Championship Wrestling includes photos from North Texas’ wrestling heyday, most of them taken at matches at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth in 1982 and 1983. It’s free, and it’s worth going to see. It’s at least worth reading more about.
David Crosby’s at the Granada, and your umpteenth chance to see that Dirk Nowitzki documentary might be your best yet.Full Story
More Questions About Susan Hawk. I like the way the News is playing this story. It appears that every day that DA Susan Hawk isn’t at work, the paper is going to run a “Where is Susan Hawk?” story. It’s pretty bad when the two people speaking for you are a) a campaign consultant who no longer works for you and b) your mom. (USA Today has picked up on the story, too.)
DART Looks To Build Second Line Through Downtown. Yesterday AIA Dallas wrote a letter to the head of DART in support of Alignment B4, and the Transportation Committee unanimously recommended that alignment, with a little adjustment along Jackson Street to avoid a church and some town homes. DART’s planning committee will meet today to discuss the matter. The City Council is expected to vote on it September 9. You are to be commended for keeping abreast of this important civic issue.
Huge Pot Bust in Oak Cliff. Looks like all you unicycle-riding, bearded hipsters are going to have a hard time scoring weed. Cops busted a drug deal in the works, snagging 74 bricks of marijuana and $54,000 in cash. (Does anyone actually “score” weed? I’m so old.)
Collin County Cuts Estimate for Paxton Prosecution. Initially the estimate for the cost of prosecuting AG Ken Paxton was $2 million. The county lowered that figure to $285,000. Highlight of the story comes courtesy of Brian Wice, one of the special prosecutors in the case. Wice said, “I’m not sure where that came from, but it’s comical that we would submit a bill that’s in the area code of $2 million. That’s just absurd.”Full Story
A quick schematic of staff swapping in recent years. This will make sense to about 20 people. To the rest of you, this probably looks like a still life with watermelons.Full Story
Perhaps you read the Variety story about Steve Nash executive producing a movie about rave culture and the ’80s ecstasy scene in Dallas. Perhaps you read Robert Wilsonsky’s followup wherein Wade Hampton says the movie isn’t about the Starck Club. At least one alert FrontBurnervian had those two stories in mind when, over the weekend, he saw the above license plate frame.Full Story
It’s Monday, and school is back in session. The bummers are coming on strong today. If you need some motivation to get through the start of the week, think of everything you can do tonight. Head out to the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, go see a new fashion and art exhibition at NorthPark, or embrace the weirdness with an experimental music showcase.Full Story
In an age where many shopping centers have suffered the fate of transforming into community colleges or pseudo-churches, NorthPark Center has seemingly found itself expanding towards ever-greater success. The most significant milestone in its history — the turning point at which the mall transformed to embrace a new era of retail — was its 1.2-million-square-foot, $250-million expansion in 2006.
NorthPark has long striven to cultivate a sense of a community among those who shop its 2 million square feet. Even after bringing more egalitarian offerings (such as a multiplex and food court) into its mix, the mall has continued to choosily curates its store selection — boasting a number of exclusive Dallas-Fort Worth outlets of major brands. Similarly, the mall monitors underperformers, with stores such as Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister, leaving within the next 16-18 months.
As NorthPark prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary Saturday, let’s reflect upon the stores that represent the mall’s strong foundation and those emblematic of its 21st-century evolution.Full Story
Widely regarded as the greatest female basketball player ever, Nancy Lieberman stopped by the Old Monk to talk with Tim and Zac about her long and varied career on the court, as a coach, as a broadcaster, and as a mom. Lieberman’s about to start her new gig as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
Notes to inform your listening experience:Full Story
The old-school barbershop in Exposition Park run by third-generation barber Rob Villareal — and recent Best of Big D winner — will celebrate two decades in business on Saturday with a shindig from 6 to 9:30 pm. Plus, it’s Rob’s 50th birthday. So after drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the shop, there’s an after party at 10 at the brand-new Eight Bells Tavern (in the old Amsterdam space) with a performance by The Rhythmaires and tunes by DJ Mr. Rid.Full Story
I imagine we all have a lot of work-related things to do today before we can get to the fun-related things to do, so let’s not waste any time on extended introductions. MegaFest kicks into high gear, Incubus and Deftones rock out at Gexa, Tera Melos and Power Trip play at Trees, and God of Carnage thrills and repulses at the Addison Theatre Centre. Go forth and do things.Full Story