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About Dallas

Politics & Government

No, Really, Mike Rawlings Does Not Want Pete Sessions’ Job

| 6 hours ago

Because he’s either a masochist or painfully committed to the idea of bipartisan overtures, Mayor Mike Rawlings appeared this morning on conservative commentator and occasional Dallas Morning News columnist Mark Davis’ radio program.

After some aggressively jocular talk about the recently rescued downtown Holiday Parade—or “Christmas parade,” as Davis is contractually obligated, as a conservative radio host, to call it—and the secret of its as-yet-unnamed new corporate sponsor, there are maybe 10 minutes of chatter about Dallas’ Confederate statues. Skip it. Davis thumps his chest and airs his grievances. Nothing you haven’t heard before. But for a shining 30 seconds, starting at 14:30 in the 8 a.m. hour, we get something interesting.

Davis: Your level of interest, 0-10, in running for Congress against Pete Sessions.

Rawlings: Oh, zero. I talk to Pete. I talked to Pete the other day. I think Pete’s doing a good job for the city of Dallas. I’m a Democrat. I think the Republicans are off-point in many, many areas, so I’m going to be a Democrat. But my first job is being mayor of the city of Dallas, and Pete’s really been a great partner in that.

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Arts & Entertainment

At the MAC, Citizens of the World Get Played In A Golf Game

| 7 hours ago

If your pockets aren’t deep enough to land a tee time at the new Trinity Forest Golf Club, let another South Dallas location quell your desires. This weekend, in conjunction with Cedars Open Studios, the MAC opens its latest exhibition, A-Hole in One by El Paso-based artist Angel Cabrales. The interactive outdoor golf-inspired exhibition engages viewers both politically and socially as they knock out a quick nine.

The course sprawls out on a portion of the MAC’s grassy courtyard. Participants “tee-off” from the top of a small hill looking down onto a series of inviting global greens with challenging hole locations. On Cabrales’ course, however, keeping score goes beyond simple birdies and pars and delves into international politics, the military industrial complex, gun culture, and the President’s penchant for Twitter.

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A Nonprofit News Org Is Trying to Track Down Every Amazon HQ2 Bid

| 7 hours ago

About a week ago, Muckrock, which describes itself as “a non-profit, collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze, and share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed,” launched an ambitious project. They would like to get their hands on every city’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Why? Well, while only one of the estimated 238 bids submitted to the Seattle-based company will be chosen, the news site believes the precedent set by the bidding process will have a big impact on the future of corporate subsidies.

We’ve touched on this topic before, and I speculated that, perhaps, the subsidy math doesn’t pencil out — that the billions of dollars cities are expected to offer corporations are never returned in the form of increased tax revenue. Regardless, local governments around the country appear more than willing to shell out billions in tax dollars to lure a big-name corporate grab. Is this the best way to grow urban economies? Is this the best use of public resources? What message will this frenzy of bidding send other corporations? How long can subsidies grow until the entire racket is baldly absurd? Can you put a dollar figure on that tipping point?

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Arts & Entertainment

You Can Buy a Piece of a Cool East Dallas Pecan Tree

| 7 hours ago

Back in March, I wrote about a guy who took a chainsaw to a very cool pecan tree in a park in my neighborhood. (Side note: I filed an open-records request with the Dallas Police Department to get a copy of the police report from that day. More than seven months later, I’m still waiting for that report.) This weekend, I might buy a piece of that tree — if you don’t out-bid me. More than 50 artists are selling their stuff at Art Mart, at the Bath House Cultural Center. Some of them were given parts of the tree that were sawed off and asked to turn the logs into art. They’re calling it the Peavy Landmark Tree Rebirth. A live auction will go down at 4:30 on Sunday. Plan your Cowboys pre-game activities accordingly.

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ALT 103.7 Is Dallas’ New Music Alternative

| 8 hours ago

Kicking things off with the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy,” Dallas’ new alternative rock radio station made its debut on the airwaves at 10 a.m. this morning. Prophecy must be fulfilled.

ALT 103.7, operating under the very familiar tagline of “Dallas-Fort Worth’s New Alternative,” replaces the Top 40 format of AMP 103.7, which appropriately signed off with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” The station, an Entercom Communications joint, arrives almost a year after the demise of 102.1 The Edge, which has since switched to adult contemporary. The, ahem, edgy prerecorded DJ introduction to ALT 103.7 cast some shade at its predecessor, calling the last station to play alternative rock in Dallas-Fort Worth “not very good,” a line that may offend Edge partisans who remember that station’s long gone glory days.

ALT 103.7 is going commercial-free for its first 10,000 songs if you want to tune in for a taste. So far it’s about what you’d expect. Nothing radical, even if M.I.A.’s guitar-free “Paper Planes” was a pleasant surprise. (Did that get alt rock radio play back in 2008?) A little Green Day, a little Linkin Park, something called Judah & The Lion, snippets of “Seven Nation Army” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in between full songs.  Rewind, repeat.

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Arts & Entertainment

From Puerto Rico, Lessons In Sustainability Before Landfall

| 9 hours ago

A design and woodworking collective that prioritizes the reclamation of disposed materials, mainly tropical woods, seems like a timely practice in light of Hurricane Maria’s devastation. However, MAOF (Materiales y Oficios, or materials and crafts) has been active since 2014, long before the destruction of this year’s hurricane season. Their work in reclaiming a humanistic relationship to material in a late age of capitalist production has proven to be not only prescient but telling. Maria’s fallout — half of Puerto Rico remains without power, nearly 60 days after landfall —  has shown governmental bodies are not reliable in the organization of labor and community; rather, it’s the people who can be trusted to clean up.

“We knocked on those doors a lot, and now those doors have magically heeled to our powers,” MAOF’s Mario Gracia Otero says.

In the basement of the Owens Arts Center at SMU, a small collective of designers, woodworkers and artists working in reclaimed materials in Puerto Rico discussed their practice last night for a bilingual audience with the aid of an interpreter. The speakers established an understanding of what it means to pursue an intentionally slow, laborious line of work. These intentions were in place before the hurricane, but now they seem only more relevant.

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Local News

Leading Off (11/17/17)

| 12 hours ago

The Gainesville State School Is Out of Control. Abuse of juveniles and staff. Violence. Crisis.

Mother of Sherin Mathews Charged With Child Endangerment. Police accused Sini Mathews of, with her husband, leaving their 3-year-old alone at home the night before the child was reported missing and later found dead in Richardson last month.  

Former Administrators of Soon To Be Shuttered Dallas County Schools Are Ignorant, Incompetent, Negligent. And possibly criminal, according to a report on the organization that was written last spring by a former FBI investigator and withheld from the public until now. Voters recently opted to put the school bus agency out of its misery.

Cowboys Play the Eagles on Sunday Night. Win or lose, Dak Prescott has a kinder smile than Carson Wentz. That we can be sure of.

Here’s a Television News Story Whose Online Headline Reads “Possible Ghost Caught On Surveillance Video at North Texas Store.” Boo.

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Dallas Filmmakers Unearth Alien City in Forgotten WFAA Footage

| 1 day ago

From 1960 to 1977, WFAA shot its news footage on 16 mm film. Unlike much of the video the TV news affiliate has subsequently used to record Dallas news, that 16 mm film was never deleted, corrupted, or recorded over. Instead, it sat in storage for years until it was recently donated to SMU’s G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. The university library has since undergone the painstaking effort of identifying, cataloging, and digitizing 17 years of images of Dallas’ history.

This evening, on VideoFest and KERA’s Frame of Mind program, you can see some of that footage. As part of the show’s 25th anniversary season, Frame of Mind producer and VideoFest director Bart Weiss handed over access of the WFAA footage — all 1.3 terabytes of it — to 10 area filmmakers, who have each taken the fragments of history and reconstructed it into 10 new short films.

The results aren’t so much historical documents as they are interpretations and conversations with the past, as well as considerations of the way that film captures, preserves, and distorts the historical record. In fact, most of the filmmakers choose to focus on footage and themes that resonate with our current moment — race, policing, violence, equality, sexism — exploring how some of these themes percolate through the historic footage.

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Dallas Holiday Parade Is Rescued, Christmas Saved

| 1 day ago

The Dallas Holiday Parade is on, organizers posted on Facebook this morning. The downtown parade, previously endangered, flirting with extinction, and openly pleading for a Christmas miracle after its biggest sponsor stepped aside this year, in the last hour found a “major benefactor” to supply the good cheer and $347,000 it needed to continue.

Christmas can proceed. The Holiday Parade has not yet named its corporate savior, but has scheduled a press conference at 4 p.m. Friday at the recently reborn Statler Hotel downtown. Wonder who it could beUpdate, 4: 15 p.m. Friday: It was Toyota. We did not call it.

Organizers also intend to reveal a “new image” for the parade at the aforementioned press conference. This could just mean adding the new corporate sponsor’s name to the parade’s title, like, just to pick a completely random example, calling it the “Statler Dallas Holiday Parade.” Maybe they’re going to throw a bone to your angry uncle, the one who posts those alarming things on social media, and change its name back to “Christmas Parade.” Maybe we’ll get some sick new branding to appeal to the younger crowd: download the Holiday Parade app!

New look or not, we love a good holiday parade. Time to add it to our list of 101 things to do for Christmas in Dallas.

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Amazon HQ2: The Real Dallas Story

| 1 day ago

Earlier this week, we told you about a Wall Street Journal ranking of cities where Amazon might choose to stick its second headquarters. But that WSJ article was behind a paywall, so all we could do was show you this graphic:Okay, Dallas is “looking good.” But what do all those colors mean? Why do we have so little green pie compared to Minneapolis? How did we kill Chicago in the red pie? Well, I bought a subscription to the WSJ and then went and looked for the legend that explains those colors. Here’s what they mean:

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