Tuesday, September 27, 2022 Sep 27, 2022
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A Daily Conversation About Dallas
Local News

Leading Off (9/27/22)

Tim Rogers
By |

Cowboys Slay Giants. From the New York Post: “There was a central theme among the Giants offensive linemen after the Cowboys beat the Giants, 23-16, Monday night at MetLife Stadium: They let down Daniel Jones. The quarterback was harassed, hurried and—at times—mashed by the Dallas defensive front, which might as well have been tailgating all night as their pass rushers feasted on the Giants’ porous offensive line.” The Looch has more, including video of CeeDee Lamb’s amazing one-handed touchdown catch, over on StrongSide.

Unrest on Grapevine-Colleyville School Board. From the DMN: “During a heated executive session Monday, board president Casey Ford accused trustee Becky St. John of calling another board member a bitch at a previous meeting and of falsely accusing the district’s lawyer of sleeping during that same meeting.” Hopefully a Christian conservative cellphone company can straighten this out.

Developer Charged With Running $26 Million Scam. The feds say Timothy Barton, president of JMJ Development and CEO of Carnegie Development, snookered Chinese nationals with investment deals in North Texas and instead used the money to live like a baller (my word, not the feds’).

Oath Keepers Go to Trial. Elmer Stewart Rhodes III is from Granbury and founded the militia group called the Oath Keepers. He and some of his buddies face seditious conspiracy charges in court today, in connection with the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

Arts & Entertainment

How To Save Money at the State Fair of Texas: The 2022 Edition

Alice Laussade
By Alice Laussade |
Bret Redman

Big Tex has a talent for coaxing your dollars into his Texas-sized wallet. But we’re here to make sure that when you hop off the DART bus and head to the admission booth at the State Fair of Texas, you’re never paying full price.

Here’s your guide to saving money at the fair on everything from admission to corny dogs. (If you plan on putting ketchup on your corny dog, don’t read the rest of this, because it’s not for you. You’re a monster.)

By the morning of August 22, more rain had fallen on Dallas in a 24-hour period than had ever fallen in a day’s time, save for once, in the city’s recorded history. It broke the record for its second-highest daily rain total, which had been on the books since 1932.

Some parts of the city—mostly farther east—saw more than 15 inches of rain over 24 hours. Thousands were left without power. There were 232 water-related emergency calls. Dallas Fire Rescue swift water teams pulled 21 people and 10 dogs from rising water.

Rocky Vaz, the city’s director of the Office of Emergency Management, told the City Council last week that his department was caught off guard by how much rain fell. He said the National Weather Service’s flood watch didn’t indicate how serious—and how fast—the situation would progress.

That meant 311 wasn’t fully staffed to take calls; there weren’t enough barricades at the ready, forcing police to use their cruisers to block intersections; and police, fire, emergency management, and public works departments weren’t working in tandem for a few hours. The after-action report also indicated that 465 calls to police were on hold because officers were busy blocking flooded roads, conducting traffic control, or responding to high-water calls. That required the department to bring in specialty units like SWAT to respond to callers who had been placed on hold.

Fixing the problems with the response will be paramount, but there is a bigger challenge looming. Every city in the country is grappling with the same problem Dallas is: our cities were not built to address climate change and the increased potential for severe weather. A warmer atmosphere fuels these storms, Washington Post climate change reporter Brady Dennis explained last week on NPR.

Local News

Leading Off (9/26/22)

Zac Crain
By |

Protests in Dallas and Plano After the Death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Iranian woman died after being detained for wearing her hijab improperly. “Our goal is to create a united front,” says Arrash Pirasteh, who organized the protest in downtown Dallas Sunday.

Sonny Dykes Wins In Return to SMU. The coach moved down I-30 to take over at TCU, which is now 3-0 after beating the Mustangs in front of the largest-ever crowd at Ford Stadium (35,569). (Yes, I originally typed “Spike Dykes” because I guess I just love old Texas Tech football.)

Sunday Storms Bring On Cold Front. It should be about 10 degrees cooler this week.

Micah Parsons Listed as Questionable For Tonight’s Game. That’s sort of a formality because he missed some practice time. He’ll play against the Giants on Monday Night Football, as will wide receiver Michael Gallup, who is returning from a torn ACL.

Way back in May, I got an email from a reader named Shell. He wrote: “Last week I watched an episode of See No Evil that was from here. Casa Linda received an upgrade from neighborhood to city, but that mistake was just the undercard. They showed an overhead shot, ostensibly of Dallas, but despite freezing the screen for several minutes, neither my wife nor I could place this. Might this be an old stock photo? Please ask your staff to set aside actual work, or lunch, to solve this.”

Shell sent along the photo of his TV that you see at the top of this post. The best I could offer was suggesting a reverse image search on the mural in the foreground, but we both knew that was going nowhere.

Yesterday, Shell wrote me again to say that he’d figured it out. So as not to spoil the fun if you’re trying to ID the fake Dallas, I’ll put Shell’s answer in the comments.

Arts & Entertainment

Where Did Tejano Music Go?

Aileen Jimenez
By |
Selena 214
Accent the Positive: Pat and Eva Arreguin and Rafa Tamayo, here at Oak Cliff’s Country Burger, host the yearly 214Selena celebration. Steven Visneau

My family frequently travels to the northern part of Mexico. We visit with relatives, overeat, spend some pesos, and dread departure day. Our sad ride back home is always accompanied at the start by Tejano music, my father’s favorite jam. Playing over the radio, we hear Grupo Mazz, Little Joe, La Mafia, Jay Perez, and Selena. But it never fails that the closer we get to Dallas, the more the Tejano music begins to fade into static. Eventually, we cross an invisible line and there is silence. 

I always wondered, Why do southern cities in Texas seem to have plenty of stations while Dallas doesn’t have any? Where has all the Tejano music gone?

Local News

Leading Off (9/23/22)

Matt Goodman
By |

Major Gridlock in Insurance Negotiations. If you’re insured through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and seek care at UT Southwestern Medical Center or Texas Health Resources, you’re going to want to pay attention to what’s happening around the bargaining table. If the parties don’t reach an agreement by October 4—and, to be fair, someone almost always blinks before deadline—more than 450,000 patients will face out-of-network prices for their care. These sorts of things happen, and especially between these specific stakeholders: talks broke down in 2016 and 2018 before reaching an agreement.

Remembering the Driver Who Died When 18 Wheeler Tumbled Over Central. I linked to the incident earlier this week, now we need to meet the man. Gustavo Gomez, 71, was killed when his 18-wheeler collided with another vehicle and appeared to lose control, sending it tumbling over Central down onto Stacy Road. His family remembers him as a jokester, but they also say he had a clean driving record and had worked for the same company for 20 years.

Wolfe City Officer Not Guilty in Deadly Shooting. Wolfe City is in Hunt County, about an hour northeast of Dallas. In October 2020, Ofc. Shaun Lucas arrived at a convenience store to break up an argument between two people, one of whom was a man named Jonathan Price. The matter continued outside, which is where things go sideways: prosecutors say Price was not a threat, followed commands, and was shot anyway. Defense attorneys say Price resisted and Lucas had to deploy a taser, which Price tried to grab before he was shot. A jury spent a few hours deliberating before returning a verdict of not guilty.

Summer or Fall: Who’s To Say? Looking at a sunny weekend with highs in the mid-90s. Fake fall is back!


Country Music May Look Different, But Is It Still the Same?

Andrea Williams
By Andrea Williams |
Charlie Crockett
He Walks the Line: “I have been identified by a lot of my audiences as just a regular white man,” Charley Crockett says. “And then there are a lot of people that look at me strangely as the complete opposite.” Bobby Cochran

On the July 19 episode of America’s Got Talent, Chapel Hart—a Mississippi-bred trio of Black women—performed their twangy riff on Dolly Parton’s iconic plea to the other woman, “You Can Have Him Jolene.” When they finished, the audience jumped to its feet, roaring its approval, applauding and chanting “Golden Buzzer,” the signal to move the country group to the next round. Moments later, judge Simon Cowell told the women, “I needed you today.” 

The face of lead singer Danica Hart was soaked in tears by then—the glory of the moment, of being so enthusiastically praised, washing over her in waves. But it was her response to Cowell’s question about their efforts to make a name for themselves in mainstream country music that provided the clearest view into her emotional state. There was heartbreak below that happiness. 

“We’ve been trying to break into Nashville for the last couple years,” Hart said, “but it’s been kinda hard when, I think, country music doesn’t always look like us.”

Significantly, the “last couple years” refers to a time of marked disruption in country music, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades. Two summers ago, on June 2, 2020, Black music executives Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas launched #TheShowMustBePaused, an initiative designed, as they wrote in an Instagram post, to “hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable” while pushing it to “protect and empower the Black communities that have made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent.”

That same day, eight days after the murder of George Floyd, Arlington-born Mickey Guyton dropped “Black Like Me.” On the macro, the haunting track provided a glimpse into her life as a Black woman in America. Drilled down, lyrics like “Now I’m all grown up and nothing has changed/Yeah, it’s still the same” were a searing indictment against her 10 years in the country music industry. If there were any doubts, her interviews on CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, NPR, and numerous other outlets—where she consistently and courageously relayed details of being called the N-word, of facing questions about her sincerity, of trying to assimilate into an all-white world—put those to rest.

Our StrongSide editor, Mike “The Looch” Piellucci, is a graduate of USC. That’s one reason I hate him. (I went to Notre Dame.) The other reason I hate him is because he is a graduate of Jesuit. I, on the other hand, graduated from Cistercian. In the power ranking of Dallas-area all-boys private schools, it goes like this:

1. Cistercian

DNF (tie): Jesuit, St. Mark’s

Having established that, let me check the stats on the North Texas Giving Day leaderboard for schools. Ah, yes. Here we are. Jesuit, which enrolls about 1,100 students, currently sits at No. 95, with $10,430 raised. Cistercian, with only about 330 students, sits at No. 2, with $429,774.

Hox vabiscum, Looch.

Last year, North Texas Giving Day raised $66 million dollars through 103,000 donors, benefiting more than 3,300 local nonprofits during an 18-hour period. Today the online giving event will aim to top that. 

The premise is simple: Thousands of nonprofits sign up to fundraise, and Communities Foundation of Texas provides a platform for donors all over the country to give to their favorite (or new) charities throughout the day. This year, the foundation is partnering with the technology platform Mightycause, which it says will help potential donors find charities that align with their interests and pet causes. 

Joshua Rictor

“Each year thousands of donors show up for our community nonprofits and this year, we want to help all donors—those who have participated before and those that may participate for the first time—identify their unique passions and make gifts that can help make our communities safe spaces to be well, be happy, and be whole,” said Monica Christopher, senior vice president and chief giving and community impact officer at CFT. “We want to continue to grow the spirit of giving by engaging and activating more donors as each individual gift, no matter the size, helps the collective.” 

Local News

Leading Off (9/22/22)

Bethany Erickson
By |

Dallas Officials Caught Off Guard by August Flooding. Dallas emergency management director Rocky Vaz said that while the National Weather Service issued a flood watch before the Aug. 21 rain began, it underestimated how much precipitation the area would get over the two-day period. In Wednesday’s city council briefing, Vaz explained that for the first hours of the torrential rainfall, there was no coordinated response between first responders, public works, and the emergency management department.

Keller Officials Remove Library’s Banned Book Week Post. Some Keller residents are questioning the decision to remove a post about Banned Book Week on the city library’s Facebook page. “City leadership was concerned that residents would think we were trying to cause controversy, given recent debates about books in the school district, so we removed it as that was certainly not the intent,” a spokesperson said. “We still invite our residents to celebrate Banned Books Week with us at the library this week, as we do every year.”

Family of Slain Irving Woman Awarded $1.1 Billion from Charter Spectrum. Dallas Judge Juan Renteria ordered Charter Spectrum to pay $1.1 billion to the family of Betty Thomas, who was robbed and stabbed to death in her Irving home by Roy Holden, one of the company’s cable technicians, in 2019. Court testimony revealed that the company hired Holden without verifying his employment history, after removing an employee screening program in 2016.

Nasher Prize Awarded to African American Woman for the First Time. The Nasher Sculpture Center awarded the 2023 Nasher Prize to Senga Nengudi. Nengudi is the first African American woman to win the prize, and the third American to receive it. Nengudi will receive the $100,000 prize at a special ceremony in Dallas on April 1, 2023.

No. If you like bad decisions and convenience stores, Dallas-based 7-Eleven and footwear company Crocs are pairing up to offer three limited edition atrocities Crocs. The “shoes” include custom 7-Eleven-related Jibbitz charms, including a Slurpee, the logo, and more. Prices start at $50.


Photo Dump (9/21/22)

Zac Crain
By |

Sometimes I walk a mile and take a dozen photos. Sometimes I walk a dozen miles and take one photo. This weekend was more of the latter than the former. I walked 17 miles on Saturday—“why?” is sort of the why—and I think I took one photo of the dam at White Rock and that was about it. I was connected with my surroundings, but I didn’t really feel the need to document. Or maybe I just didn’t see anything worth storing anywhere other than my brain. It happens. It can be better when it does.

Photo time.

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