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Updated Taco Power Rankings

| 2 days ago
Photo by @chattiecathyy
Photo by @chattiecathyybreakfast tacos

1. breakfast tacos
2. any dog named Taco, sight unseen
3. Taco Trey Kerby from NBA TV’s The Starters
4. lunch/dinner tacos
5. new Cowboys DE Taco Charlton
6. Urban Taco’s “I love tacos so much” wall
7. Taco from The League
8. The “Let’s taco ’bout it” pun on the Mockingbird Ave. Taco Bell marquee

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Local News

Morning News Ed Board Calls Kingston’s Conspiratorial Allegations a ‘False Narrative’

| 2 days ago

There’s a curious editorial on page 14A of today’s Dallas Morning News, highlighting the fact that Dallas ISD Trustee Dustin Marshall has joined with the two opponents he felled last year to support council hopeful Matt Wood. I can’t find it online or I’d link to it.

Wood is challenging the ever-divisive Philip Kingston in District 14, which includes the prime territory of East Dallas and Uptown and downtown. That geography, coupled with Kingston’s not-always-polite abrasion toward the status quo, has attracted big names and big dollars — a well-funded Super PAC run by the woman who helped elect Mayor Mike Rawlings, Kingston’s arch rival, has launched a mailer and online campaign painting the incumbent as a disrespectful stooge. Kingston says the effort to oust him is proof of his effectiveness, evidence that he’s uprooted the moneyed establishment that has so long controlled what happens at City Hall.

With that context, let’s return to that editorial.

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Philanthropy & Nonprofits

ACT’s Generation Justice Event Engages Young Professionals

| 2 days ago

I wrote about the work that local nonprofit Advocates for Community Transformation is doing in West and South Dallas in the December 2016 issue of D Magazine. Simply put, ACT empowers inner-city residents to fight crime on their streets with the help of pro bono lawyers and other organizations. Dallas lawyer Reid Porter started the organization in 2009, and it has since expanded from West Dallas to South Dallas as well and grown immensely.

Last night, I attended ACT’s annual Generation Justice event, geared toward young professionals and aiming to get them involved in helping lower crime in these neighborhoods. It was held at The Empire Room in the Design District, where 350-plus people gathered to eat, drink, hear from Porter, and explore exhibits showing different aspects of ACT’s work. One of the exhibits had the December article posted front and center, which helped to show attendees how far the nonprofit has come since day one. My lawyer friend remarked that she couldn’t believe how many people showed up.

Continuing the conversation of justice, ACT is hosting a Generation Justice Happy Hour on June 29 at Trunk Club. Put it on your calendar.

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Law

John Wiley Price Found Not Guilty on Seven Counts

| 2 days ago
Our March 1991 cover
Our March 1991 cover

John Wiley Price this morning was acquitted on seven of the 11 charges against him. He beat the bribery and mail fraud stuff (counts one through seven); the jury was deadlocked on the tax issues (charges eight through 11). If the feds want to, they can retry Price on those four remaining charges. If they do, I suggest they find someone other than Assistant U.S. Attorneys Walt Junker, Katherine Miller, Jay Dewald, and Chad Meacham to do the work. Those are the four prosecutors that Judge Barbara Lynn repeatedly chastised for sloppy lawyering. Those are the four prosecutors who had a safe full of hundred dollars bills, $225,000 in total, and they still couldn’t make their case to the jury.

John Wiley Price. Man, you gotta hand it to him.

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Tech & Startups

Toyota’s Smart Car Branch to Double Employees and Expand Plano HQ

| 2 days ago

Toyota Connected is doubling its employee base and expanding its office space at the Legacy West development in Plano.

The company, founded by Toyota Motor North America to expand Toyota’s smart car developments, expects to hire 100 more employees than the initial 100 it previously announced, for a total of 200. It also plans to add 13,500 square feet to its 20,000-square-foot office.

News of the expansion comes one year after Toyota Connected launched. The company already has hired 55 technologists for roles including data scientists, engineering, and software development. It also has begun developing Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform, a cloud-based digital ecosystem that will enable mobility services such as ride sharing, car sharing, and remote delivery.

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Local News

Leading Off (4/28/17)

| 2 days ago

John Wiley Price Jurors Head Into Day 8 of Deliberations. The jurors have been deadlocked since Tuesday, and if they can’t come to a consensus at some point soon, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn will declare a mistrial. Price faces 11 counts that include mail fraud, income tax evasion, and bribery.

Taco Charlton Heads to Dallas. The Cowboys chose the Michigan defensive end with the 28th overall pick in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. The 277-pound Charlton can play both defensive end positions as well as tackle in passing situations, which could help the ‘Boys with pass rushing. There are already mentions of Super Bowl potential. Also, three other players from North Texas were picked in the top 6 of the NFL Draft. Myles Garrett, a graduate of Arlington Martin High School, was picked first overall by the Cleveland Browns; Solomon Thomas, a Coppell High School graduate, was picked third overall by the San Francisco 49ers; and Jamal Adams, a Hebron High School alum, was picked No. 6 overall by the New York Jets.

As Eviction Date Nears, West Dallas Tenant Fight Intensifies. Tenants and supporters rallied Thursday in front of HMK Ltd.’s headquarters on Singleton Boulevard to demand the right to stay in their low-rent homes in an area that has quickly gentrified. Last fall, HMK landlord Khraish Khraish notified city officials of his intentions to evict tenants from nearly 300 of his low-rent homes in the area. Instead of upgrading the properties to meet housing code, Khraish has unveiled redevelopment plans. Tenant evictions have been extended to June 3 by a court order.

Dallas Zoo Will Unveil Its Hippo Exhibit Today. After four years and $14 million, the 2.1-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost will open today. This exhibit is the largest to open at the zoo in several years. Adhama, a male hippo from the Los Angeles Zoo, and Boipelo, his female companion from the Albuquerque BioPark, call the habitat home. The hippos were transported to Dallas in March.

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Guess the City

The Real Sister Cities of Dallas

| 3 days ago

What does Dallas have in common with Taipei, Monterrey, or any of its other adopted sister cities? As far as I can tell, not that much, besides what the Dallas Fort Worth World Affairs Council calls a shared commitment to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time,” which is difficult to quantify and nearly impossible to present in the kinds of graphs and maps true city policy heads love.

A more accurate picture of Dallas’ sister cities could be drawn from a new mapping tool published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Chicago Fed collected civic data from across the country and did more than 300 interviews with municipal leaders to create the Peer City Identification Tool. Its stated goal: finding cities that are “experiencing similar trends or challenges” for the edification of local shot-callers.

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Local News

Lessons on Council Elections: The Races Are Open, But Whom You Turn Out Matters

| 3 days ago

Yesterday afternoon, my colleague Alex Macon returned from early voting and declared that the nice volunteers at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library seemed a bit “bored.” Beyond school board seats, the only thing on this ballot is choosing your district’s councilmember (yes, all 14 of them), and Dallas has a particularly horrid appreciation for such things when you look at turnout.

There are no referendums, no explicit bond votes, no risk of a mayoral shakeup. But the votes, for those paying attention, could very well determine the future of the Trinity toll road, of Fair Park, of development in West Dallas, of bar curfews, and any number of other major and not-so-major matters affecting our city for the next two years. Yesterday evening, three City Hall writers—our Eric Celeste, the Observer’s Jim Schutze, and the Dallas Morning News’ Tristan Hallman—climbed up on a makeshift stage under the stairs at D Magazine HQ to chat about these city races. One of the questions that came up again and again was the idea of influence on these races—how the moneyed are attempting to wield it with their dollars and their messaging, how the nimble are waging effective campaigns using social media, and how voter turnout is still so abysmal in this city that a couple dozen fraudulent mail-in ballots could be enough to swing a runoff in at least one of our districts. (Looking at you, D6.)

The stakes feel higher in certain portions of the city, most notably in the East Dallas-Uptown-Downtown swath represented by Philip Kingston. There, a super PAC called For Our Community, funded by the kinds of developers and philanthropists and politicos who have long held a thumb on Dallas’ politics, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars painting the incumbent as a no-good loon, more prone to hissy-fits than to effective leadership. Kingston, in response, likes to post a spreadsheet of his voting record.

Schutze calls these folks the “Forces of Evil” and says they look scared, or at least more committed.

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