In addition to being extremely eco-conscious, Lee hopes to prepare its students for what lies beyond elementary school through a variety of cutting-edge learning and curriculum models.Full Story
In addition to being extremely eco-conscious, Lee hopes to prepare its students for what lies beyond elementary school through a variety of cutting-edge learning and curriculum models.Full Story
Last week, as Peter noted, Forbes released its ranking of America’s “coolest” cities. Dallas came in 10th, falling from 4th the year before. Never mind that their criteria seems bogus, given that Houston once against was higher up the list than Dallas. That’s not what I’m here about.
Forbes‘ list got me thinking about our own recent comparative list of the finest places to live (other than Dallas) in North Texas: the best Dallas suburbs. One criteria we used was something we termed “ambiance” score. You can read our explanation of it here, but I think I’m perfectly within my rights to conflate our notion of “ambiance” with Forbes‘ notion of “cool.”
To that end, I’m asking you today to pick the coolest Dallas suburb. Your options come from the 10 suburbs to which we gave higher ambiance scores than Dallas (which got an 84 out of 100). Highland Park was tops with a 96, but does that make it the coolest?Full Story
City and Klyde Warren Park Talk of Closing Olive. And they didn’t tell their neighbors yet. They swear they were going to. Why wasn’t that stretch of the street closed when they built the park?
Fort Worth Doctor With Ebola Returns to the U.S. Kent Brantly was in West Africa offering humanitarian aid when he contracted the deadly virus. CNN has used the pandemic as an opportunity to scare the bejesus out of its viewers by pointing out that Ebola is “only a plane ride away.”
Immigrant Kids Won’t be Housed in Dallas County. County Judge Clay Jenkins announced as much after the federal government said that the tide of refugee children from Central America has slowed significantly.
Dallas ISD Won’t Tell Investigator Why He’s Being Investigated. Jeremy Liebbe was placed on paid leave and escorted from his office two weeks ago, but his lawyer says he still doesn’t know why. Sources told the Morning News it’s because of the way he went about conducting an investigation of his own supervisor.
Toddler Falls Over Railing at the AAC. The 2-year-old was watching the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus with her family when she tumbled from the 200 level to the Plaza level below. She was hospitalized in critical condition.
Another Day With a High in the 80s. Yes, you still live in North Texas.Full Story
On Wednesday, a large fire consumed a good portion of the land near Big Spring, not far from where the new horse park and golf course will be built near the Trinity Forest. According to the Save Pemberton’s Big Spring Facebook page, nine fire trucks were called to the scene — and the fire has sparked up again today. Speculation is that it was arson. You’ll find some pictures of the damage on that page, too.Full Story
If you read this blog, or our magazine, or follow me on Twitter, you are more than aware I have had — as of late — a bit of a problem with birds. Specifically, owls. The owl situation seems to be under control now, though I assure you, my head remains on a swivel whenever I am outside my house after dark. More troubling, however, is that now the problem has spread to pretty much all birds.Full Story
The Texas Tribune yesterday published a story that you should read — but only if you live in North Texas and if you breathe air. It only matters to that group of people. Here’s the top-line summary: though we are still way above where the federal government wants us on ozone, for years our levels had been dropping. In 2008, as you can see from the above chart generated from research done at UNT, that trend reversed itself. And the rise in ozone levels has accelerated fastest in parts of North Texas where the most drilling is done. It’s an important story. It’s not that long. Please read it — again, though, only if you live here and breathe air.Full Story
Not in a person — in a mosquito pool near the 6600 block of Brookshire Drive in North Dallas. The city is planning to spray insecticide tonight and tomorrow between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the area bounded by Azalea Lane on the north, Tulane Boulevard on the west, Airline Road on the east, and Walnut Hill Lane on the south. From the city’s release:
While the insecticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for treatment, residents in the above areas should avoid contact with the spray by staying indoors. Persons inside a vehicle while trucks are actively spraying should remain in their vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioner on until the trucks pass and the spray is no longer visible. Persons out during the scheduled spraying time should be alert for trucks and should not follow them. Residents who come in contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. The spray breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and has no residual effect.
Zac’s mosquito source could not be reached for comment.Full Story
When I write that this idea is “brilliant,” I do so without any consideration for the financial cost it would entail. I do so as a person who routinely treks across wide-open swaths of concrete throughout downtown Dallas and am not entirely fond of roasting.
The proprietor of the Urbanophile blog was in town for the recent New Cities Summit, and I’ve just now had a chance to look at his after-action report on his visit. First he opined that Dallas is in the midst of a transition from juvenile mega-sprawl enthusiast to mature and sophisticated urban environment. We’re young (major city-wise), so it’s understandable that we’re not as well-designed as an aging city like Chicago, he says. My favorite bit from his initial post pinpoints exactly what’s always bugged me about Large Marge:Full Story
As Peter has mentioned, Maxwell Anderson was a driving force behind bringing the New Cities Summit to Dallas. When Anderson called John Rossant, chairman of the New Cities Foundation, and Mathieu Lefevre, executive director of New Cities Foundation, and told them to check out Dallas, Lefevre was doubtful. “It’s pretty bad,” was his first thought of Dallas, but by the end of his first trip, Lefevre was sold. “Actually, [Dallas] is awesome. There’s a dynamism,” he said. “Not every city is willing to reimagine itself.” The selling point? The Arts District.Full Story
While a gospel choir from a church in West Dallas sang, I dug into my salad of grilled Texas peach, arugula, and Paula (Lambert)’s fromage blanc. I couldn’t find my husband. He’d finished his sweet summer corn bisque and gone to get a drink from Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, who was holding court at the bar. The wind picked up and the crowd collectively sighed. We were sitting in the middle of Dallas’ newest park, the Continental Avenue Bridge, which used to be a motor vehicle bridge until its neighbor (the Large Marge) opened in 2012. Sunday, the Continental Bridge opened to pedestrians and cyclists. We were there for the Gospel Brunch, which was part of the Trinity River Revel’s bridge opening celebrations. It was around 12:30 p.m., and though the sun wasn’t at full force, it was out. And it was hot. But the breeze felt great, and the venue couldn’t be beat.Full Story
You are hereby invited to read a story, if you haven’t already, that I wrote for the June issue. The online headline is the SEO’ed (I guess) “How I Survived the Trinity Rapids,” but the print version headline, which I prefer, is “Here Be Dragons.” In ye olden tymes, that’s what mapmakers would write when they didn’t know the lay of the land (or ocean). Those were parts unknown. Places to be feared. That’s how I read Jim Schutze’s reporting on the Dallas Wave.Full Story
In the June issue of D Magazine, Eric Celeste writes about the not-in-my-backyard attitude many East Dallas residents have about development around White Rock Lake. In discussing the debate over a proposed restaurant on Boy Scout Hill:
Given the area’s liberalism and strong sense of place, it’s understandable that lake-area residents protect White Rock as if it’s theirs and theirs alone. In 1986, it was the Arboretum that wanted to build a restaurant on the lake. Rejected! In 2005, a 25-story high-rise was proposed. Denied! The next year, developers floated the idea of turning a well-known building at the lake’s northeast corner, Big Thicket, into a restaurant. Not in my house! A parking lot at Winfrey Point (swatted into the stands) and even a floating boathouse for a rowing team (okay, but we’re not happy about it!) were dismissed for being environmentally insensitive plans of callous developers who didn’t understand the specialness of the lake.
The problem: with the Boy Scout Hill restaurant, that wasn’t the case. Burgin and Kopf were sincere and worked hard to address residents’ fears.
Their proposal was withdrawn, but it’s certain not to be the last such debate. Are residents of East Dallas standing in way of potentially great new places around the lake?Full Story
Toyota Gets Plano’s Sofa Cushion Change. The lead from the DMN: “The City Council approved an economic incentive package Monday for Toyota that links $6.75 million in grants to construction of a new headquarters that will offer 3,650 full-time jobs.” Kudos to you, Plano. This is like when I sucker my 8-year-old daughter into taking a quarter to pick up all the dog poop in the backyard. It’s a win-win. But one of the wins is a bit bigger than the other one.
Former Dallas Assistant Police Chief Goes Missing. Gregory Holliday is 63. He left his home and was last seen at 2 p.m. walking near the 5800 block of Campbell Road, in Far North Dallas. According to the police report, police believe he could be armed and may harm himself. You can see a pic of him here.
Weather Happened. The paper went with team coverage yesterday. That team: Robert Wilonsky.
New Rudy’s Chicken Location Causes Confusion, Chicken. You know about Rudy’s. It’s the chicken joint in Oak Cliff (or the Southern Sector or whatever). You probably think you know that the city gave Rudy’s $890,000 to open a new restaurant. What you don’t know is that a whole bunch of that sum went toward buying some land from Rudy. Beside the point. Right now, I want to point you to this story. Because ONE: “ ‘Man, the chicken is so good you drive from New Orleans to Dallas to get it,’ regular customer Shady Mack said.” I love any story where a source is identified by nickname only, especially if that nickname is Shady Mack. I’m a little sad that the WFAA reporter, Rebecca Lopez, couldn’t find someone named Fingers Friedman. Because TWO: “The new two-lane drive-thru was supposed to be better, but it’s confusing to many customers, and causing traffic jams. ‘It’s frustrating and creates an opportunity for something to happen,’ Aubrey Hayes said.” Little disappointed that Aubrey isn’t named Aubrey Awesome or something. But happy that her concerns were aired. I think everyone can agree that none of us wants “something to happen.” Because THREE: “Elvin Gamble eats at Rudy’s Chicken three or four times a week, but on Monday he sat in line for 20 minutes just to order. ‘The wait’s very but worth it,’ he said. ‘Some good chicken.’ ” Maybe Elvin Gamble IS a nickname. Not sure. Real name could be Dwarfish Risk. I’m reaching. But you get my point. BUT HOLY GOD HE WAITED 20 MINUTES TO ORDER FOOD. I mean, this is injustice. Sure, sure, sure. He acknowledges that the wait is worth it. But the wait’s very. Until it is very SOMETHING, none of us should rest easy.Full Story
Yesterday around 4 o’clock, whenever that front of storms blew through, we had an interesting experience in our downtown building. D Magazine occupies the top two floors of St. Paul Place, the 21st and 22nd. The editorial desks sit on what was yesterday’s leeward side of the building, on 21. We turned off the lights so that we could more easily see into the darkness outside. Rain was swirling, blowing sideways. Zac and I walked over to the art department, on the windward side of the building. Rain hit the windows so hard that it sounded like gravel.Full Story
Another Shooting by a Dallas Cop. It’s the fourth involving the city’s police force in the last two weeks. Dallas officers have shot 10 people so far this year, and seven have died — one of those was unarmed. (Compare that number to 12 in all of 2013.) Thursday night’s incident took place near the Dallas VA Medical Center. The man who was shot reportedly had himself shot a woman in the jaw.
State Allows Waste Control Specialists to Bury More Radioactive Waste. Dallas’ most evil genius may no longer be in charge of the company, but his vision for bringing byproducts of nuclear power plants to a site in West Texas lives on. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality has approved changes that will allow WCS to accept triple the amount they could previously.
TCEQ Cites XTO For Stealing Water. The state agency says the company, which is owned by Exxon Mobil, took almost 1.4 million gallons of water to which it was not entitled, which it used for fracking.
Cowboys Linebacker Suffers Career-Ending Injury. DeVonte Holloman left Saturday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens with a spinal injury, and doctors are advising that he never again play football.
Cowboys to Break Ground on Frisco HQ. Construction will kick off Friday, and the team expects to officially move from Valley Ranch to its new home for the 2016 season.Full Story
This week, Thomson Reuters published an update to its list of the most cited researchers in the world. Ten work in North Texas, and all of those are employed by UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Head over to D Healthcare Daily for details on the work that each of the researchers do, but this is a nice recognition for the medical school: In essence, it’s listing these researchers as some of the foremost experts in their entire fields.
The list was first compiled in 2001 and again in 2004. For this update, Thomson Reuters scoured references in the top 1 percent of all peer reviewed articles or white papers indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection between 2002 and 2012. The 10 researchers at UTSW authored, participated, or were cited in some of the most highly regarded pieces of research in the last decade.Full Story
Streets.mn, a blog based out of Minnesota offers eight ways to improve urbanism, some of which may seem obvious, others not so much. My favorite suggestions:
- Making accessory dwellings legal: They’ve been playing with the idea in Minneapolis, and Austin has been savvy to it. What accessory dwellings (or granny flats) offer is quick and achievable density in-fill on single-family lots.
- Better transit, not more transit: Dallas boasts more miles of light rail than any other city in the world, which is one of those claims that sounds good on paper, but is really embarrassing. The rail is so long because it is trying to wrestle with so much sprawl while not actually providing the most efficient or usable service. Streets.mn argues more attention should be paid to improving the efficiency and usability of less sexy, but potentially more effective modes of transit, like the modest, old bus. Hmm, sounds familiar.
- Eliminate one way streets: Come on, Dallas. It is time to kill ALL of downtown’s one way streets. Today. Fine, tomorrow. But still, it’s 20 years too late. They make no sense at all.Full Story
Dallas ISD Investigator Placed on Leave. Jeremy Liebbe managed the Professional Standards Office, a investigative unit of the school district’s human resources department. He recently led the probe into the sports recruiting scandal that led to the firing of 15 employees and had previously made a name for himself as a DISD police officer by uncovering the “cheese” heroin epidemic. On Thursday he was placed on paid leave and escorted out of his office by district police. The district declined to comment on the reason for the move but did say it’s unrelated to the recruiting scandal.
Ellis County Judge Paid For Work She Didn’t Do. The state of Texas pays county judges — whose primary responsibility is presiding the commissioners court that oversees county government — an extra $15,000 a year if they devote 40 percent of their job to judicial cases. Carol Bush filed a request for that payment for the last couple years even though she didn’t hear any cases. The money, more than $22,000, has been repaid, but Bush is under investigation to determine if she committed any crimes.
Mortuary Gives Woman Wrong Ashes. It’s the same place in Fort Worth where, on Tuesday, eight bodies were found after the mortuary’s operators had been evicted. Michelle Jones-McElhanon told Fox 4 that her mother, who died three months ago, was supposed to have been cremated but was instead among the bodies found. Jones-McElhanon had already been given what was supposed to have been her mother’s ashes.
Enjoy the Cool Weather. Yesterday the temperature only got up to 79. That was a record-low high for the day. Today’s forecast calls for a high of 83. It is July 18. So much for global warming, amiright?Full Story
Nothing much happening in downtown Dallas right now, except for a bunch of clouds. But — holy hell — up north in Denton and Cooke counties today’s heavy rains have already arrived and it sounds like chaos, with highways shut down and roads flooded.
WFAA says we’re going to several rounds of rain through tomorrow. So a downpour is coming your way later today, if it hasn’t reached you already.
Be careful out there.Full Story
By now you’ve surely been up and down and up again our ranking of the Best Dallas Suburbs. Our sortable chart allows you to reorder the 64 North Texas towns (Dallas is included for comparison’s sake) on the list by factors such as population, crime, education, or just the overall ambiance of the place.
So you know what our numbers say. But what does the all-knowing, all-seeing Google machine think of our cities? How does Google Maps present us to the world? To find out, I asked for directions from Dallas, Texas (unspecified address) to each of the suburbs (unspecified address). Wherever Google dropped its pin representing each, I took a look around via the magic of Street View.
That gives us the spot to which Google will direct travelers who don’t know exactly where they want to go in these towns, just that they want to get there. To my mind, that makes these locations the virtual entryway to each, the online face of these cities. I leave it to you to interpret whether there’s any deeper significance to where Google’s directions would take you and what it says about our suburbs. (By the way, in Dallas, the location is Main Street downtown, right next to Plush nightclub)Full Story
I’m a big proponent of urban farming and have done my share of going to bat for the backyard chicken movement in Dallas. I love my chickens; the eggs and fertilizer they provide me are superior and they are master composters. Keeping chickens in the city can be a fruitful and rewarding experience—it is an important component of a productive backyard garden and a healthy local food system.
Yet, I feel compelled to offer a few words of caution for those considering the practice. Keeping livestock should never be taken on without thoughtful consideration about how you will properly care for these animals, or how you’ll dispatch them when the time comes. Yes, I said dispatch.Full Story
Tests Prove Fracking Contaminated Parker County Water. The Texas Railroad Commission’s findings earlier this year concluded that the amount of methane in one man’s well was under the federally allowed limit, but a UT-Arlington scientist ran his own test and found the methane levels dangerously high. Not only that, but the evidence indicates the methane almost certainly came from gas in the Barnett Shale. The Railroad Commission stands by its report.
Synthetic Marijuana Bust Involves Ridglea Theater. The feds have busted the owners of the Gas Pipe chain of head shops for the manufacture and distribution of K2, or “spice.” DEA agents seized cars, a house, businesses, and nearly $3 million in the operation. Caught up in the mess is the historic Fort Worth theater, which documents claim was purchased with money from the sale of the illegal substance.
County Vows to Take Guns From Domestic Abusers. On the Sunday the Morning News reported on how officials haven’t been enforcing state and federal laws that should keep guns out of the hands of those convicted of domestic abuse or subjects of protective orders. On Thursday, officials vowed to institute ways to impose the law as they should. Score one for the fourth estate.Full Story
You might recall Laray Polk’s name from the 2010 story she wrote for us about Harold Simmons and he stood to make millions by storing nuclear waste in questionable way. It was titled “Harold Simmons Is Dallas’ Most Evil Genius.” Well, Laray co-authored a book last year with Noam Chomsky (yes, that Noam Chomsky) called Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe. She’ll talk about the book Thursday at CentralTrak. Here’s how the evening is billed:
Topics in the book will be explored in relation to Texas as it has over time become a dumping ground for the country’s radioactive waste. The state has also become a convergent point for environmental activism over the controversial proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The discussion will include images of West Texas’ “Nuclear Alley” and acts of recent nonviolent protest in East Texas, followed by a Q&A.
There exists in the Texas House of Representatives a Subcommittee on Seismic Activity, which isn’t something you’d think would exist in this state. But it does, and it’s chaired by Denton’s Rep. Myra Crownover. She convened a hearing Monday to discuss the earthquakes that have rattled the southeast corner of Parker County, around Reno and Azle — an area that, until November of last year, had never reported a single felt tremor. It has had dozens now, and the United States Geological Survey suspects it has something to do with disposal wells near the epicenters, where many millions of gallons of waste water from gas wells are pumped nearly two miles beneath the surface, into the Ellenburger Formation. The phenomenon is the subject of a feature story in this month’s issue of D.
It sounds like the height of hubris to claim that humans can cause the earth’s crust to shudder and release unfathomable energies. But we’ve been doing it for decades, here in Texas and elsewhere. The only difference now — the only reason there’s a subcommittee — is that the shaking is happening near a slightly more populous area than in swarms past, and the fears of the people in Parker County can no longer be ignored. Not that the state oil and gas regulator didn’t try at first.Full Story
By now you know the drill. Buy cases of Pepsi. Make sure your 3G and 4G devices are charged. According to Frankie MacDonald, we are going to get lots of rain today in Dallas, Texas.Full Story
Dallas Cowboys Pass on Johnny Manziel. The former Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner was still available when the team made its first-round pick — No. 16 overall. But despite the marketing bonanza that could’ve come from pairing Manziel with Jerry Jones in a Papa John’s commercial, the Cowboys selected Zack Martin, an offensive lineman out of Notre Dame. Johnny Football is taking his talents to Cleveland.
City to Award Love Field Gates to Virgin. According to WFAA’s sources, an announcement will be made today. City Manager A.C. Gonzalez made the call, which comes as no surprise, given the Justice Department’s stance on which carrier should get the gates the American Airlines is being forced to divest in order to have its merger with U.S. Airways approved.
Storms Flooded Streets, Downed Trees, Cut Power. Late Thursday, thousands of homes were still waiting for electricity to be restored. Though some places saw several inches of rain, officially (at D/FW Airport) the area got only a half-inch, leaving us still 8 inches below normal for precipitation this year.Full Story