FrontBurner

A Daily Conversation About Dallas

Transportation

Injuries Pile Up as Dallas’ Day of Scooter Reckoning Approaches

| 2 hours ago

Last week, the City Council gave Transportation Director Michael Rogers’ staff more time to negotiate with scooter companies over new city regulations. That means that we’ll have to wait until March to learn the future of scooters in Dallas. Until then, Baylor Scott & White sends some much needed context around one very important piece of these negotiations: safety.

Behold this month-by-month look at scooter-related emergency room visits to Baylor University Medical Center in downtown Dallas:

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Politics & Government

Lee Kleinman Ditches His Glorious Mullet

| 3 hours ago

A colleague sent me this screen grab, which reveals the shocking news that Councilman Lee Kleinman has gotten a haircut. D Magazine was the news outlet that first covered this tonsorial issue, interviewing the councilman about his hair choice back in January. Today he tells us that it got too shaggy, and he cut it about a month ago. (Apologies for not noticing until today’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee meeting.) Your reporter told the councilman that if he lived in District 11, he’d immediately start a petition. Kleinman’s texted response: “Now that I’m term limited, I can make unpopular decisions without fear of reprisals.”

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Podcasts

New EarBurner: Dallas Morning News’ Mark Lamster Hates the Mavs Uniforms, Too

| 3 hours ago

Mark Lamster has been The Dallas Morning News’ architecture critic for the past six years. In that time, he’s challenged architects and residents alike, forcing readers to better understand how buildings shape the way in which we move about the city. He’s written a book about the architect Philip Johnson, the controversial figure behind the Crescent development, Thanks-Giving Square, and Fort Worth’s Water Gardens, among others.

But that’s not why we invited Lamster to come on EarBurner. No, he got into a Twitter tiff with Mark Cuban over the Mavericks’ obviously hideous city jerseys. And, as Lamster put it, “good design is good business.” So we had him pick up a microphone. Show notes after the jump.

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Food & Drink

Dallas, Steakhouse City, Is Now No. 7 on PETA’s List of Most Vegan-Friendly Cities

| 7 hours ago

For the first time ever, Dallas has placed on PETA’s 2019 ranking of the top 10 vegan-friendly cities in the U.S. It’s no accident.

“From tacos and tamales to a Tofurky Italian Sausage Stack, Big D boasts one of the biggest vegan dining scenes around,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, quoted in today’s press release.

PETA cites the recently opened Nuno’s Tacos & Vegmex Grill for its smoky chipotle jackfruit enchiladas; Tiki Loco in Deep Ellum for its Smokin’ Hawaiian “Steak” Poke nachos with pineapple pico; D’Vegan for its food court Vietnamese dishes; El Palote Panaderia for being the city’s first all-vegan Mexican restaurant and bakery; and even Al Biernat’s for its Tofurky Italian Sausage Stack and meatless cheeseburger.

Dallas’ vegan revolution is being driven in large part by local African-American chefs. Brandon Waller’s stall in the Dallas Farmers Market, Bam’s Vegan, caught PETA’s attention with his Jackfruit Ropa Vieja with beans, rice, and fried plaintain. Owner and chef of V Eats Modern Vegan, Troy Gardner, has become well known for his country fried “steak” with mushroom gravy. And vegan soul food has taken over the city thanks to Elizabeth Anderson’s Vegan Food House in Oak Cliff, Amiya Cleveland’s Itso Vegan in Grand Prairie, and Angela Alexander’s Da Munchies in West Dallas.

PETA didn’t even mention the OVGs, Spiral Diner & Bakery and Kalachandji’s. Or Peace.Love & Eatz. Or Recipe Oak Cliff. Or Vegan Vibrationz.

So many options. So many delicious ways to celebrate this meatless Monday.

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Business

David Pillsbury Is Making ClubCorp About More Than Golf

| 7 hours ago

When ClubCorp CEO David “Pills” Pillsbury was 12 years old, he nearly burned down his family’s home. He had seen a janitor at his school mark a playing field by killing lines of grass with kerosene. Pillsbury and a friend tried the same technique to create a badminton court. But the boys lit the highly combustible fuel with a propane torch, triggering a wildfire on the 5-acre property.

‘David! Goddammit! Call the fire department!’ my father shouted as he ran to the fire and I ran toward the house,” Pillsbury recalls. “I had to appear before the fire chief and make my case to avoid my parents having to pay $5,000 that they didn’t have to offset the cost of fighting the fire. Talk about pressure.”

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Local News

Leading Off (11/18/19)

| 12 hours ago

Cowboys Win. It wasn’t always easy, but there were some fun moments (Zeke’s touchdown dance, Michael Gallup’s circus catch).

16-Year-Old Allen High Student Shot and Killed at Party. It was at a house in Plano. Some people had been kicked out of a party there and then someone fired into the house. The bullet struck Marquel Ellis Jr., a sophomore who played wide receiver for the Allen High varsity and JV teams.

Dallas Police Officer Arrested for Physical Evidence Tampering. Her name is Angel Herring, and she is a 47-year-old senior corporal. She turned herself into the Tri-City Jail in DeSoto on Saturday.

Lyft is Pulling Its Scooters Out of Dallas. They were my favorites, on the occasions I had to use a scooter, so that is a bummer.

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Urbanism

In Deep Ellum, a Patch of Concrete Becomes a Busy Gathering Space

| 3 days ago

100 Trunk Avenue, at the northern edge of Deep Ellum, is a patch of grass in an empty lot. That’s it. It’s sandwiched between the Case Building’s apartment parking garage and flanked by precious few trees. It’s across from the Continental Gin Factory, which used to host art studios before it was sold last year—and ousted more than 50 artists from their studio spaces. It’s a rare piece of disuse in Dallas’ densest entertainment district.

Last weekend, an artist teamed up with an urban planner to reinvision the lot. In came the pop-up vendors and artist booths. They hooked up an amp and a microphone for musicians. And about 3,000 people over two days showed up to shop, gawk, talk, and listen. The pitiful patch of land was briefly transformed into the Creative Market.

“This was a strong first step,” said urban planner Amanda Popken, who helped organize the event. “Hopefully, the city will consider further how this space can be considered as a valuable asset for the community.”

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Transportation

Trump Administration Guts Transit Funding. That’s Bad for Cities and the Planet

| 3 days ago

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $900 million funding package for transportation infrastructure projects. That should be good news. We all know the sorry state of America’s infrastructure, and there is a great need to invest in more sustainable mobility options throughout the country. This latest program funding comes from the BUILD grant program, which is the new name of the Obama-era TIGER grant program that was created in the wake of the 2008 recession and helped fund projects like the Oak Cliff Streetcar. But as Streetsblog points out, the character of this funding program, which was originally conceived with multi-modal transportation projects in mind, has changed dramatically.

“Nearly all of them are for highways and bridges in states that supported Trump,” Streetsblog writes. “And the latest grants continue a three-year gutting of transit funding.”

That’s bad—potentially catastrophic.

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Sports

Listen to Eric Nadel Call a Dallas Diamonds Game, Plus a Nancy Lieberman Story

| 3 days ago

Many years ago, back when I still had hair, I did a morning radio show here in town. Shout out to everyone who remembers Early Merge With Tim & Yvonne, all four of you. Our run lasted just two years, from 1999 to 2001, but in that brief time we broadcast a few moments I’ll never forget. There was the time, live on the air, a leopard from the Fort Worth Zoo attacked a macaw (the bird survived). There was the time I interviewed Debbie Gibson and confused her with Tiffany (Weezer made the same mistake, so I don’t feel that bad). And then there was the time I thought it would be a good idea to play 1-on-1 with Nancy Lieberman, aka Lady Magic.

She had a basketball camp to promote, so she agreed to play me in front of about 50 girls who idolized her. They all stopped their camp activities and sat on the court a few feet behind the 3-point line. Rich Phillips, now the voice of SMU football, recorded the play-by-play. Lieberman would have been about 40 years old. I was 10 years her junior and 2 inches taller. And just like that, in a game to 10 by 1s, I was up 5-0 on one of the best basketball players ever to walk the planet.

This was something I hadn’t anticipated: how it would feel to dominate Lieberman on a basketball court (super cool) and simultaneously disappoint 50 girls who loved her (total jerk). I understood that I couldn’t win, but I also knew that I wasn’t going to throw the game and let Lieberman beat me, because, first, that would be an insult to a world-class athlete, and, second, I’m a total jerk.

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Local News

Leading Off (11/15/19)

| 3 days ago

Susan Moreno Is One of the Country’s Best Teachers. And yesterday, the J.L. Long Middle School teacher received a $25,000 award from the Milken Family Foundation. She leads classes in English and Spanish and incorporates music, poetry, art, and food. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath was in town to award the gift. Moreno was one of 40 teachers across the country to be honored.

Deep Ellum Attack Suspect Is Indicted. You’ll recall Austin Shuffield: he was recorded confronting a woman in a Deep Ellum parking lot, slapping her cell phone out of her hands, then striking her nearly a half dozen times. He then pulled a pistol from his waistband, according to officers. Yesterday, a grand jury returned four indictments: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, obstruction or retaliation, assault causing bodily injury, and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Not All Are Happy About Homeless Arrests at Shelter. The city requires all homeless who are seeking shelter at the Kay Bailey to undergo a background check. Officials say it’s for the safety of others. Some of those folks have been arrested after warrants pop up. The crimes include assault, family violence, criminally negligent homicide, and sexual assault of a child. People with minor violations are allowed to stay, however. Some pastors and homeless advocates disagree with the approach, arguing that all should be allowed shelter from the cold without risk of arrest.

We’re Looking at the 50s Today. It’s 38 degrees as I type this, but most of the day will be sunny in the 50s. Ditto for the weekend.

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Sports & Leisure

Remembering When Memphis Grizzlies Coach Taylor Jenkins Was Just a Power Forward at St. Mark’s

| 4 days ago

 

Jonathan Tjarks, a staff writer at The Ringer, was a couple of years behind Taylor Jenkins at St. Mark’s, where Jenkins was a three-year starter on the basketball team. Here, Tjarks interviews Jenkins — now a rookie head coach with the Memphis Grizzlies — and his former coach Scott Jolly, and looks at what Jenkins means to the future of the Grizzlies. They are a fun team, with Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja Morant, who took on basically the entirety of the Charlotte Hornets’ squad for this game winner last night. Here is Jenkins back in his St. Mark’s days:

Jenkins is back row, center.
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Media

Dallas Morning News Sells Its Soul for Front-Page Ad. (And Good for Them.)

| 4 days ago

Six years ago, I wrote a post for this here blog about how the Dallas Observer had sold its cover to Shiner. I was outraged. Outraged, I tell you! Had they no standards? And what was the world coming to?

Well, today the Morning News rolled out a paper with a fake front page full of redacted stories. It’s a clever ad for an Amazon movie titled The Report. Grant Moise, the paper’s president and publisher, says this is the first time the News has accepted a “frontpage wrap” ad. A couple of us at work stood around in the kitchen this morning, assessing the thing. My take: “Yeah, OK, whatever, good for them. Gotta make money somehow.”

How times have changed. Three years from now, Robert Wilonsky will get a “sexy teeth” Mint Dentistry tattoo ad on his neck, and I’ll shrug and say, “I guess that’s what it takes.”

God (and Amazon) help us.

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