A Daily Conversation About Dallas

Real Estate

Oak Cliff ‘Party House’ Makes Zillow Gone Wild

| 4 hours ago

Shout-out to Zillow Gone Wild for bringing us another gem of a Dallas real estate listing. Check out this 5,200-square-footer just south of Loop 12 near UNT Dallas. Yours for $450,000.

The last time a Dallas listing caught the eye of Zillow Gone Wild, it was for a mysterious Far North Dallas compound whose purpose was unclear. This Oak Cliff home is occasionally bewildering, but it’s easier to see how it might be used.

“This is known as the party house,” says Robert Moseley, showing off his party house in a video tour. Moseley is also the owner of Bob’s Prop Shop, a builder of replica movie cars, according to his YouTube page.

The shop was previously based in Dallas and is now in Las Vegas, a city where every home has purple carpeting, a built-in stripper pole, indoor hot tubs, and a karaoke stage. In Dallas, though, this still counts as extraordinary. That full video tour is after the jump.

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We’re Officially Flirting With Fall: What To Know About This Cold Front

| 5 hours ago

Monday saw temperatures bring near record highs for the day—it doesn’t often get up into triple digits that late in September, especially not 102 or 103 degrees. But that heat foretold the first hint of fall.

According to the National Weather Service, what we saw on Monday is known as “compressional warming.” We had strong southwestern winds from West Texas come into town, compressing as it pushed downward, causing higher temperatures due to the friction of the system meeting cooler air closer to the ground.

The cold front began this morning with a denser blast of air pushing out the hotter, higher-pressure system. That cooler air will settle in for the next few days, plunging temperatures as much as 30 degrees below what they were on Monday. By the time you wake up Wednesday, the NWS believes temperatures will be in the 50s.

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Local News

Leading Off (9/21/21)

| 9 hours ago

COVID Update. Hospitalizations in Dallas County are still high but appear to have plateaued. The average number of new daily cases in the county for the last two-week period is 1,390; for the previous two-week period, it was 1,222. Encourage your friends to get vaccinated.

Rowlett Bar Doesn’t Dig Masks. Hang Time Sports Grill & Bar owner Tom Blackmer has gotten a lot of attention for his no-mask policy. This DMN story reports that a couple was recently told to remove their masks, which their pediatrician recommend they wear because they have a baby with CF. I agree with Blackmer. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Find another sports grill and bar.

More Cops in Deep Ellum. In response to the recent violent crime in the entertainment district (particularly the shooting Sunday that left one person dead and five injured), Chief Eddie García said his department will “take Deep Ellum back.” Part of that effort will include a more visible police presence. (Presumably the folks at Bullzerk are already at work on t-shirts that say “take Celina back” and “take Dalworthington Gardens back” and so forth.)

Cop Watchdog Calls for More Transparency. Tonya McClary is the head of the Office of Community Police Oversight. She says the department didn’t inform her when it cleared a cop in an investigation into a pepper ball shooting of a protestor. McClary will propose new rules about keeping her office and the public informed.

Stay off 635. They’re working on the highway. Here’s where and when lanes will be closed.

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Betty Sitton, R.I.P.

| 1 day ago

Betty Sitton taught Chemistry II my senior year of high school. This was 1988 at Cistercian Prep, in Irving. The course was a real challenge, one that I was not equal to, at least not on Mrs. Sitton’s terms.

Memory is a funny thing, but as I recall, the trouble started somewhere around electron probability clouds. Trying to explain the concept, Mrs. Sitton, a deeply religious, patient woman, compared electrons to the Holy Trinity. Something about not being able to directly measure it but knowing, nonetheless, that it existed. I forget exactly. More than 30 years have elapsed (!). But she brought religion into a science class, and I took that as an invitation to abandon the formal study of chemistry and occupy my mind while in Mrs. Sitton’s class with more worthy matters. I was not alone.

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Food and Drink

Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que Makes the World a Happier Place, One Fried Reese’s at a Time

| 1 day ago

Juan and Brent Reaves, owners of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que, can’t get on an elevator without someone saying something. “If I get onto an elevator right now,” Juan explains, “and other people get on, too, there’s gonna be a guy that’s like, ‘I know this sounds weird, but you really smell great.’ We’ve gotta figure out how to make this a cologne.”

It’s a typical comment from any good pitmaster. The smell of the smoker follows you, for better or worse. And in the case of the Reaves brothers, it’s clearly for the better. There’s a line of avid regulars trailing out the door of Smokey John’s at 11:15 a.m. on a Wednesday.

But that line wasn’t always there. There was a time, just after the Reaves brothers lost their mother, when the restaurant was hemorrhaging money. “We were losing like $8,000 a month. My mind was blown,” Brent says. They had to do something. Fast.

“I started going out into the neighborhood passing out coupons. I’d take $50 out of the register and go make copies of the menu on orange paper. I would walk every morning and pass out flyers to every building, every person– everywhere.”

Brent remembers, “And one lady, this older lady, she took a menu and she says,” Brent puts on his best high-pitched nice-old-lady voice, “‘Oh! Y’all have a little barbecue place down the street!’”

“I said, ‘Yes, ma’am!’ And she goes,” (Brent mimics the lady taking the paper and shoving it up against her own nose, sniffing it like a kid with a scratch-and-sniff sticker. She’s disappointed.) “‘It doesn’t smell like anything!’”

He laughs. “I was like, ‘What do you want it to smell like?’ And she’s like, ‘Well, I don’t know—you’re selling barbecue!’”

He went right back to the restaurant, took another $50 out of the register to make a new set of copies. Only this time, “I put them in the smoker overnight,” Brent says with bright eyes.

“So, the next morning, I came back out and I hit all the same places all over again. And about 11:15, all these people start coming in the door with this flyer. Catering started coming in like crazy.”

Smoker-scented menus FTW.

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Listen to the Call of that Crazy SMU Win Over Louisiana Tech

| 1 day ago

In Leading Off today, Zac mentioned SMU’s wondrous win over Louisiana Tech and Rich Phillips’ ecstatic play-by-play call, which he said sounds like “a toddler reacting to a magic trick” if you took that same spirit and put it in a grizzly bear. But what exactly does that sound like? Let your ears tell you. (P.S., that’s Scott Garner in the booth with with Phillips, sounding like he’s having a stroke and an orgasm at the same time.)

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How Today’s COVID Data Informs Tomorrow’s Public Health Measures

| 1 day ago

The battle against the COVID-19 virus steals the headlines, but another war is being waged under the surface. Data analytics professionals and public health officials are constantly fighting to stay ahead of the massive amounts of data generated by the pandemic. In Dallas, the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation leads that effort and develops lessons for future pandemics.

Over the last several months, PCCI has predicted and readjusted its predictions for when North Texas would reach “herd immunity,” defined as when a certain percentage of a population is protected against the virus either through vaccination or post-infection antibodies. Like so much of the medical and scientific world over the last couple of years, the unprecedented nature of the pandemic means that what is a best practice one day becomes obsolete the next. But in a peer-reviewed study published in the New England Journal of Medicine‘s media outlet Catalyst, experts from PCCI help us understand why the virus is acting the way it is and what we can learn from it in the future.

The study is called “Rethinking Herd Immunity: Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic in a Dynamic Biological and Behavioral Environment” and helps explain why Dallas is experiencing new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at a rate as high as ever. Despite predicting reaching herd immunity earlier in the summer, PCCI has moved the date back and increased the percentage required to reach the barometer from 80 percent to 95 percent. Societal immunity is a moving target because of the dynamic nature of four factors: infection-related immunity, vaccine-related immunity, the opportunity of the virus, and the infectiousness of the virus.

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Local News

Leading Off (09/20/2021)

| 1 day ago

One Killed, Five Wounded In Deep Ellum Shootings. Shots were fired from multiple weapons early Sunday morning near the corner of Malcolm X and Main; 18-year-old Kenneth Walker, an unidentified 19-year-old, and four women (ages 30, 25, 21 and 15) were hit. Walker died at the hospital; the 19-year-old was admitted in critical condition. The others have injuries that are non-life-threatening. Something like this has been building since pandemic restrictions eased a few months ago, and it is probably past time to get the neighborhood cooled down.

Navy Training Jet Crashes in Lake Worth Neighborhood. Two pilots were injured, several homes were damaged, but “it could have been a lot worse.”

FC Dallas Fires Luchi Gonzalez in Third Season. The team has just six wins and nine draws in 26 matches this season, so I get it, but I still think he’s a good coach and he was big part of making the FCD academy so formidable. Also, I wrote about him a couple years ago, so I probably jinxed him

Cowboys Overcome Mistakes For First Win of the Season. Dak and the fellas started off strong and then sort of just managed to hang in there until the end, surviving a choppy three quarters that included turnovers, penalties, and a frankly bizarre last few plays to come away with a 20-17 victory on Greg Zuerlein’s 56-yard field goal as time expired. They really did look pretty good for most of the game, with a big rushing attack led by Tony(!) Pollard and a surprisingly frisky defense.

SMU Wins on Miracle Catch. I was in the car having a conversation with my son when the SMU broadcast on The Ticket went absolutely bonkers as Tanner Mordecai’s 33-yard pass was batted in the end zone and Reggie Roberson Jr. caught it to defeat Louisiana Tech. I can’t find Rich Phillips’ call but just imagine a toddler reacting to a magic trick and then have that spirit put into a grizzly bear.

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Local News

Work to Turn Concrete at Fair Park Into a Community Park Is on Schedule

| 4 days ago

The nonprofit management group in charge of Fair Park’s operations is ahead of schedule on fundraising and on track to deliver a new community park by spring of 2024. Fair Park First and its partners gave their annual update to the city’s Park and Recreation Board this week, which celebrated momentum: they’re raising money, the new park’s design phase is moving into schematics, and they’ve held more than 800 community meetings to gather input from surrounding neighborhoods to inform its design.

When the City Council approved the master plan for the overhaul of the 277-acre art deco treasure in 2020, it gave Fair Park First and its partners five years to complete the first phase. The master plan’s cornerstone is an 11-acre community park, which will transform a parking lot at the southeast corner of Fair Park.

This portion, bordered by Fitzhugh Avenue and Lagow Street, was once a neighborhood of about 300 homes that were seized through eminent domain, bulldozed, and paved over. Fences went up, and it was used sparingly for parking and storage for the State Fair of Texas. But the city’s intent, as detailed in a report from 1966, was to force out Black residents so White attendees of the fair didn’t have to see them. In all, 52 acres were taken.

Since then, South Dallas has not shared in the economic success of its northern neighbors. The area became a dead zone, fenced off and inaccessible, nothing but empty, sun-soaked concrete except when cars filled it during events. Brian Luallen, the CEO of Fair Park First, again acknowledged this history in introducing the park.

“This would’ve been an area that was residential that was taken through eminent domain many years ago,” he said. “Here, we envision a front porch that reintroduces the park campus to the surrounding community.”

The design brings in the fence line by about two blocks, providing access that doesn’t involve a gate. Early conceptual designs showed a large civic lawn flanked by play areas, a pavilion, a water feature, and native grasses and trees. Now, Luallen said, the conceptual phase is evolving into schematics.

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Employers Are Making the Vaccine Mandates About Safety, Not Politics

| 4 days ago

A publicly traded oil company with rigs throughout West Texas has 2,000 workers spread between 42 sites. The workers often work, eat, and sleep together in tight quarters. Earlier this summer, the company recorded 23 COVID-19 infections in three days, requiring 60 employees to go home and quarantine. Because of the nature of their job, they can’t work remotely. “We can’t live like this,” the CEO told Dr. Scott Conard. “We can’t have our operations cease because people are not willing to get a vaccine.”

The delta variant coupled with a normally functioning society has put business leaders in a difficult decision. In response, those executives are reframing the vaccine debate as a safety discussion and not a social or political one, says Conard, the chief medical officer for the insurance brokerage Holmes Murphy. President Joe Biden’s new ultimatum requires companies with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or test for the virus each week. It has re-politicized the issue and left business leaders between a rock and a hard place.

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Sports and Such Is Here To Make You–and Themselves–Laugh

| 4 days ago

Like any good comedy, Sports and Such’s origin story begins with a joke.

It was April 2013, and Ben Rogers and Jeff Wade, the sports talk radio duo better known as Ben & Skin, were between jobs after leaving 103.3 ESPN in February. Speculation was rampant about where they’d land and when they’d next appear on the air, and Dena Adi wasn’t above wondering herself. But she also couldn’t ignore how serious the whole thing seemed.

So she decided to have a little fun on the Internet.

Ben & Skin did not, in fact, have plans to join the longstanding hip-hop station. But that didn’t stop the tweet from migrating to a message board as a rumor, where it happened to be seen by Kevin Turner, who was set to join Ben & Skin at their actual new home of 105.3 The Fan as producer. He laughed, then got acquainted with Adi on Twitter.

It would be another seven years before the two would create a YouTube series together and eight until that YouTube series became an actual television show, which premieres Saturday at 2 p.m. on CW33. But on an elemental level, the foundation was cemented that night: one of them said something that made the other laugh, and that laughter was channeled into a course of action.

Adi, a multimedia producer at the University of Texas at Arlington who is now the showrunner of Sports and Such, says she’s “kind of had a version of this show in my mind for a long time,” one that fuses familiar elements into a wildly different sort of sports show. As Turner, the host, puts it, “You’ve seen a monologue before. You’ve seen intimate interviews. You’ve seen man-on-the-street bits. You’ve seen game shows on TV—those have made a resurgence over the last 10 years. But have you seen them all in one package that relates to your local sports teams? Probably not.”

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State Fair of Texas

500,000 Corny Dogs and a Few Thousand Buckets of French Fries: Is Big Tex Eating His Feelings, Too?

| 4 days ago

According to the Fletcher’s Corny Dogs website, the company expects to sell over 500,000 of their deep-fried namesake over the course of 24 days of the State Fair of Texas. Fletcher’s says that’s 60,000 pounds of hot dogs. You guys, we’re gonna eat that. They know we’re gonna eat that. That’s something we do every year with such reliability that they can predict our behavior and put it on their website. They can forecast that like Delkus can forecast a summer in Dallas of 90-degree weather and Botox.

Half a million corny dogs.

You’re over there, talking to your friend about being a Paleo, gluten-free, CrossFit Ironman—doesn’t matter. Don’t care what you told your life coach. Half a million corny dogs are going down.

Fletcher’s says we’re also going to eat 1,500 gallons of mustard with that. And 800 gallons of ketchup (Because somehow that many of you are doing this wrong. Must be out-of-towners).

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