Leading Off (8/7/12)

Dallas City Hall Loves Cars, Hates Activity. Oh, I’m sorry, perhaps my headline didn’t get it quite right. But when I read this article about how Dallas City Hall is trying to limit the number of marathons and walks in the city, that’s what I got from it. Neighborhoods and organizations (particularly First Baptist Church) don’t like these events to happen because they shut off streets and make it difficult to get around. I get that that can be annoying. But I’ve heard rumors of a certain downtown church not being very accommodating to any kind of activity going on. Hey, guess what: your organization is downtown where things happen. It’s a good thing people are getting out and participating in walks, runs, jogs. Why make it difficult (and expensive) for people to be on the streets of Dallas? Please don’t discourage people from getting out of their cars. Try joining them.

People Don’t Want Joy, Laughter, Exercise in Their Neighborhood.
Along the same lines of the above item, there’s this. The Ursuline Academy girls have won 22 soccer titles in the campus’ existence, but they don’t even have a field to practice on. Eleven years ago, the school tried to get a field. They were turned down. Now they’re trying again. But it looks like they’re going to face some resistance.

Dallas Wants To Be More Ethical. And it’s willing to spend $435,495 to upgrade the city ethics program and train people on ethics for three years. All said, this will cost only $34 per city employee. Sounds like a deal, right? Here’s the catch, according to this story: “Notably missing from the list of city employees who will undergo the planned ethics training is the Dallas City Council, the group that has the most direct say over the expenditure of city funds.” City Council doesn’t need ethics training, does it?


  • Christopher

    “Ursuline Academy: Winning the girl’s state soccer title every year, literally, since 1791”

    I think you snuck in an extra zero on the 220 titles. Or perhaps it was for emphasis. Either way, impressive.

  • Fixed it. Thanks, Christopher.

  • Ket

    It is funny how much we accept the disturbance in commerce caused by churches without batting an eye. Maybe they don’t want to pick this fight?

  • Daniel

    Bilk the taxpayers for a half-million dollars to “consult” the city on “ethics.” Genius!

  • Justin

    I know how to solve the Dallas first baptist / marathon problem. Anytime a marathon is coming up just have the CEO of Chik-fil-a talk about the evils of gay marriage. The congregation will head straight (no pun intended) to the closest suburban chik-fil-a and happily stand in line for hours just to buy some fried chicken (because that’s what Jesus would do) in a show of marketing induced solidarity, meanwhile the streets are clear for the runners.

  • Edward

    It’s a shame how much First Baptist controls downtown, without having to pay any taxes to do so.

  • aj

    I don’t go to the big church downtown, but do find the marathons and other races annoying. They have gotten better about warning neighborhoods in advance about blockages, but wide areas are affected by street closures. There are plenty of places and ways to do activity outside without running in a mass and blocking in entire neighborhoods. Why must they take over? Or why can’t they run Industrial, oops, Riverside Blvd., where not so many would be affected?

  • RossG

    On the ethics story, and based on history, I think the story that will break during sweeps will be how navigant consulting paid city staff to get the recommendation for the contract.

  • thufir_hawat

    It is terribly hypocritical for FBC to complain about street closings. Good luck trying to get cross town on Sunday morning; good luck getting up St. Paul any day for the past year (when for some reason the city lets the construction shut traffic to one lane. Absurd.). Baptists and hypocrisy. Who knew.

    But I can’t get too upset about additional regulation. If you live in downtown or uptown or anywhere near the Katy Trail, there is some cause needy or celebrated enough for a jog/walk/parade once a month or more. Shuts down streets, creates large amounts of flotsam and jetsam, is generally an oversaturated pain. If they are regulated, or heaven forfend insured, so much the better for everyone.