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About Dallas

Good Public Transit

Dallas’ Poverty Problem Explained in a Single Map

| 48 mins ago

This morning, Shima Hamidi, the Director of the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, briefed the Dallas City Council’s Quality of Life committee on transportation equality. If you have a few seconds, check out Hamidi’s whole Power Point. In includes a ton of fascinating maps and data sets (like the one above) that illustrate how issues like poverty, affordable housing, and public transit all fit together. For example, did you know that only 28.3 percent of affordable housing Dallas-Plano-Irving are actually affordable when the cost transportation is factored in?

That statistic sets up the significance of the map below, which I believe tells the story of Dallas’ income inequality better than any map I’ve ever seen.

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Local News

Leading Off (3/27/17)

| 9 hours ago

ICE Rounds Up 26 Undocumented Parolees As They Show Up For Community Service. The sweep in Fort Worth yesterday morning is believed to be the largest of its kind in North Texas in recent years. The parolees had been convicted of high-level misdemeanors or low-level felonies, and, according to Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, they had been released from jail by mistake. That seems like a fairly high number of people released from jail by mistake and I wouldn’t mind hearing more about that portion of this story. I know it’s probably referring to the fact that they should have been detained because of their undocumented status, but still.

Denton and Collin Counties Hit With Hail. Golfball- and softball-size hail rained down on the northern part of North Texas last night, and there was a tornado in Justin, as we are firmly in the “cliche about Texas weather” part of the year.

Yu Darvish Named Opening Day Starter. It’s not until April 3, so you guys have some time to get excited and maybe even kick around some old Yu puns.

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Politics & Government

Mark McDaniel’s Seemingly Strange Departure for Kerrville

| 3 days ago

Mark McDaniel, you’ll recall, was the odds-on favorite to be named Dallas’ city manager when A.C. Gonzalez announced he was retiring. Then, lo, the City Council surprised everyone but T.C. Broadnax when it instead hired T.C. Broadnax. With Broadnax “taking care of business,” that put McDaniel in a tough spot. As he told the Amarillo Globe-News in January, when he was a candidate for that city’s manager position, “[I]t’s really hard to take second fiddle and drive from the back seat.” Not as hard as it might be to play a tuba in the back seat while trying drive, but his point was taken. Imagine every meeting with your boss playing out with the subtext that you wanted his job and didn’t get it.

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Podcasts

New Podcast: S. Holland Murphy on Writing About Motherhood in the Age of Facebook Mommy Shamers

| 3 days ago

This week we talk to one of our own. S. Holland Murphy is an associate editor at D Magazine. She’s new to the magazine game. Before joining us, Holland worked as a copywriter at JCPenney. So she wasn’t prepared for the social-media blowback she got to a piece she wrote in D about leaving her kid alone in a movie theater, ever so briefly. We talked with Holland about what that felt like, about the need for writers in the age of Facebook to have a thick skin, and about her very unprofitable breast milk consulting business.

As always, you can listen through the player below or you can download the episode with your favorite podcatcher. Give EarBurner some star love on iTunes, if you have a minute. On with the show notes:

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Local News

Leading Off (3/24/17)

| 3 days ago

DISD’s IT and Procurement Departments Wasted $1 Million. Staff bypassed competitive bidding for data analysis software and used approved vendors as a “pass-through” for services from an unapproved company, according to an external investigation. These actions dodged the district’s purchasing policies as well as state law. Although seven district employees have been disciplined, the district is not naming those involved at this time. 

Aaron Family Jewish Community Center Evacuated. The North Dallas center was “temporarily closed to access” for about 35 minutes Thursday afternoon. Employees did not share details as to why the center was temporarily closed. Earlier this month, the JCC received threatening phone calls and emails.

Richardson Man Accused of Supporting ISIS. A federal grand jury in Dallas indicted 40-year-old Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who is charged with six counts of making false statements to federal agents investigating his alleged support of the terrorist group. The charges stem from comments he made to federal officials earlier this month during a terrorism investigation.

Bikers Accuse Keller’s Drive-In of Discrimination. The restaurant chain is bringing back an old policy that prohibits motorcyclists from eating on the premises. The decision has upset bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts, who have long used the restaurants’ parking lots as destinations for bike and car shows.

Dallas Zoo Welcomes Two New Hippos. The large mammals will be part of the zoo’s $14 million Simmons Hippo Outpost, which is scheduled to open in April. The animals arrived earlier this week, with one coming from Los Angeles and the other from Albuquerque.

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Politics & Government

City Council Report: Just Who the Heck Is Dick Zinnendorf?

| 4 days ago

dallas_city_hall

Each time some citizen comes up to the podium for the three-minute “open mic” speeches that every Dallasite is entitled to deliver before the Dallas City Council at the beginning of its weekly meetings, a little mystery-drama unfolds as observers look for early clues as to which of several categories the speaker will fall under. The most common of these are Well-Informed Citizen; Obvious Political Crank; Here to Make Goofy, Good-Natured Announcement; and Mentally Ill Homeless Person, with the latter divided into further sub-categories such as Angry Over Vague Recent Incident or About to Accuse Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo of Running Underground Prostitution Ring. Generally you can figure out which is which within 20 seconds; some defy categorization for up to a minute. But the first speaker on Wednesday morning conducted himself with such extraordinary thematic ambiguity that it remained unclear as to what he was about and even whether he really existed at all, at least until after some further digging. And then things got strange.

Dick Zinnendorf strode to the podium in a camo t-shirt to announce, “I’m here to defend the people of Dallas from the menace of Bobby Abtahi!” This was ambiguous enough. Abtahi is the newly appointed Parks Board head and one of several associates of developer and Rawlings backer Walt Humann that the mayor has managed to place on the board in recent months. Zinnendorf, then, could be a Well-Informed Citizen, but without further clues, one couldn’t rule out Crank or Mentally Ill. Presumably whatever he said next would narrow things down. But it didn’t.

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Transportation

These Are the Noisiest Places in Dallas

| 4 days ago

The U.S. Department of Transportation this week released a national “noise map,” tracking decibel levels in cities around the country. The map focuses exclusively on noise caused by transportation, which explains why there is not an angry red splotch around my downstairs neighbor’s apartment and his expensive speakers.

Unsurprisingly, the most transportation-related noise in Dallas stems from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a giant purple streak on the relatively low-decibel orange coating of the region’s many surface streets. Love Field, similarly, brings the noise. Those pink lines crossing the map would be our highways.

Airports and highways, it turns out, are loud.

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Good Public Transit

Why Dallas Needs to take the Lead on Downtown Subway, Streetcar, and Highway Plans

| 4 days ago

After a year of debate over how and where to build the much-needed second downtown Dallas DART light rail alignment, there is a chance that any dreams of downtown subway will have to wait for a new presidential administration. That’s because the preliminary budget the Trump administration presented Congress includes some blanket language that wholesale precludes the federal government from implementing any new infrastructure funding—a problem for DART since the billion-dollar D2 project is contingent on receiving federal funds from an Obama-era “Core Capacity” transit grant program.

Nonetheless, at  a stakeholder meeting yesterday, DART officials said they would continue to move ahead with the plans for D2 presuming that once the raw meat of Trump’s budget gets filtered through Congress, the sausage that comes out the other end will include pork for subway building.

Let’s hope so.

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