A Daily Conversation
About Dallas


Sneak Peek: D Magazine’s May Issue, Which Explores Who Killed Ira Tobolowsky

| 3 hours ago
On newsstands now!
On newsstands now!

Beginning today, you’ll see the May issue of D Magazine rolling out on newsstands. That’s it on the left. The name Ira Tobolowsky figures prominently on the cover. I’m willing to bet many of you remember that name. For one, Tobolowsky was a highly regarded attorney who operated for decades out of a small office on Lovers Lane, west of the Tollway. And two, he was burned to death in his North Dallas home just over a year ago, and police have still yet to charge anyone with the crime.

But the family believes they are close: “We are a little bit of evidence short of getting this case taken to a grand jury, getting an indictment, and moving forward with a capital murder trial,” says Ira’s 28-year-old son, Michael, who now runs his father’s practice. “We’ve been here a couple months or so. The type of information we’re looking for we believe someone has out there. We’re just trying to reach out and connect with that person.”

Michael, along with his siblings and his mother, spent hours with D Magazine writer Jamie Thompson for her cover story, “A Place Where Something Evil Happened.” What emerges is a picture of a family driven to get justice, another family torn apart by greed and anger, and an overtaxed police department trying hard to solve a bizarre and unthinkable tragedy but coming up just short. Head to newsstands to read it now. (It’ll go online in a few weeks.) But first, I wanted to leave you with how Michael described his father:

Read More


We Live in the Future: Dallas and the Flying Car

| 4 hours ago

Wait. Hold on. Stop the presses, or the WordPresses, or whatever churns out #content these days. Everyone put down their pencils, turn down the radio, and switch off the YouTubes. Something happened yesterday that I really don’t think anyone has really taken the broadband-brain width to fully comprehend and appreciate yet. So place your hands on your lap and take a deep breath. I’ll retype the headline:

“Uber Picks DFW as First Region in the U.S. to Test Flying Vehicles”

Did you catch that?




Read More


A Few Thoughts on the Dallas Morning News’ ‘Aryan Princess’ Story

| 6 hours ago

If your social media feeds haven’t bombarded you in the past couple of days with mentions of “My Aryan Princess,” then you follow different people than I do. It’s a seven-part, 18,000-word Dallas Morning News series about a government informant named Carol Blevins who helped bust a whole bunch of bad guys that ran the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Scott Farwell wrote it. You might recall his “Girl in the Closet” series. After staying up late last night to read this new piece, I’ve got some thoughts. Initially, as I tweeted while reading, I thought the thing was a minor disaster. Having digested the entire piece and then reread parts of it this morning, I’d like to walk that back a bit. But I do have some serious concerns.

Read More

Local News

Leading Off (4/26/17)

| 11 hours ago

John Wiley Price Jury Deadlocked. Price is up against 11 counts (bribery, mail fraud, income tax evasion, more on that here). After five days of deliberations, the jury told Judge Lynn that they can’t agree on a verdict for all 11. It could be one count in question, it could be several. It could be one juror deadlocked, it could be several. All we know is the jury was sent back to their rooms at about 3:30 pm yesterday afternoon with the instructions to watch mindless television. If they can’t come to an agreement in the next few days, it’s possible that a mistrial will be declared on the deadlocked counts, and the state will have to decide whether to try Price again.

A Happy Doc Tale. Lately there’s been Dr. Death, the alleged orthopedic groper, Wee Wee and her booty injections—not to mention this horrifying story about a bad batch of eye medicine  causing indefinite blindness—so it’s pretty refreshing to see some smiling faces and successful surgeries attached to a medical story. Godspeed, Marcos and Tamirat.

Which North Texas Schools Shame Kids in the Lunch Line? Denton, Fort Worth, Richardson, and Irving ISDs all have practices that shame students who don’t have money in their cafeteria accounts. On Thursday, a bill introduced by DeSoto state Rep. Helen Giddings to give kids a two-week grace period will go up before a committee. However, one Texas teacher, who took on the cause after watching a cashier dump a broke 4-year-old’s lunch in the trash, says two weeks isn’t enough. So, I don’t know, when exactly is it appropriate to trash a kid’s lunch—perhaps their only warm meal of the day—in front of all their friends?

Pooches Now Welcome on McKinney Patios. A city variance was passed last week giving McKinney restaurants the option to allow pets on patios. An incident involving an illegal dog’s birthday party at Dempsey’s Place got the ball rolling.

Read More


Go Inside Dallas’ Most Exclusive Museum, Housed at Perot’s Headquarters

| 1 day ago

We’re told that Ross Perot Sr. is on a call, but suddenly there he is, bounding out of his office with the shrunken ceiling, shaking all of our hands as we stand in some sort of room that doubles as a museum entrance and secretary’s office.

“It’s sure nice of you to come by, thank you!” he says, introducing himself by his full name to all seven of us. Perot is 86 now, and he still makes his way to the office around 8 a.m. and does rounds, bathing in all the sunlight that pours into the new Perot headquarters. And despite these shiny Turtle Creek digs—a three-story marvel of glass and natural light that houses all of the Perot Co.’s business excursions, from real estate to energy to investments and acquisitions—the elder Perot wanted his office the same as it was in Plano. Exactly. Which meant the ceilings had to be dropped.

“It’s identical to what he had,” says his son and Hillwood CEO, H. Ross Perot Jr.

Read More


Dallas Politics and the ‘Culture of Nice’

| 1 day ago

You hear it said all the time by people visiting our fair burg. “People in Dallas are so nice.” It is an impression that follows a cliche: the hospitality of the south, the politeness of Texas. Other characteristics we export to fuel the preconceptions of visitors: life is easy here, the cost of living is low, the weather is great, opportunity abounds. As I heard a local city leader say recently, “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere — but if you can’t make it in Dallas, you can’t make it anywhere.”

It’s a good line. But then what do you say to the thousands of our neighbors who are stuck in endemic poverty? Or is it too impolite to mention them?

Read More

Politics & Government

Dallas Has the Worst Voters in the Entire Country

| 1 day ago

For the first time in the city’s history, not a single council member will be term-limited out in an election. On May 6, 11 of the seats will be contested. But will anyone vote? Even in a state that’s never prided itself on electoral turnout, Dallas’ aversion toward the voting booth is exceptional.

In the city’s last municipal election in 2015, only 6.1 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls. A Portland State University study of the most recent mayoral contests in the country’s 30 largest cities found that turnout was low almost everywhere, and that Dallas had the lowest rate of voter participation in the U.S. Fort Worth, tagging along to the bottom of a deep gorge of electoral apathy, was second worst, with 6.5 percent. (Turnout, as it does elsewhere, increases for presidential elections; about 60 percent of registered Dallas voters cast ballots in 2016.)

Read More

Local News

Leading Off (4/25/17)

| 1 day ago

DMN Launches Ambitious Multipart Crime Story. The first installment of “My Aryan Princess” published today. It’s about an undercover agent who helped bust a bunch of the top brass in the Aryan Brotherhood. I’ve been told this thing has been years in the works. The first chapter is a little over 3,000 words. I read only the first few hundred. I’m hooked.

John Wiley Price Jury Enters Fifth Day of Deliberations. No verdict yesterday. Will today be the day?

Dallas Zoo Expecting Baby Giraffe. Katie is pregnant and expected to deliver sometime in May. This birth won’t be on live TV, if you were wondering.

Person Killed in Crane Accident. Remember when a crane fell into the Dallas Museum of Art? Yesterday afternoon, just down the street, a boom truck crane fell over and killed someone. Watch out for cranes, people.

Read More