A Daily Conversation About Dallas

Politics & Government

Jason Villalba—Or a Staffer—Doesn’t Give a Rat’s Back End What You Think, Snowflake

| 13 hours ago

It’s beautiful spring day in Dallas. But in the mayor’s race, we have our first “snowflake” reference.

In some since-deleted Facebook activity, former state Rep. Jason Villalba got into it with a couple commenters who took issue with the tone of his rhetoric.

“With great respect, I don’t give a rats ass about what you think about the way I speak,” he wrote. “If you don’t like me or what I represent, vote for one off [sic] the 17625 options.”

The comments were under a post on Villalba’s campaign Facebook page about the City Council’s decision to take down the Confederate monument in Pioneer Cemetery. The original post, put up at about 8 p.m. Thursday and since edited, called mayoral candidates Lynn McBee and Mike Ablon “mamby pamby politicians.”

One commenter said that was “simultaneously sexist and homophobic.”

“I don’t give a whit about what a snowflake like you thinks about my language,” Villalba responded. “You don’t like it, vote for someone else. Griggs I suspect.”

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Politics & Government

After We Sell DFW Airport, Here’s How Dallas Could Spend Its $5.3 Billion

| 13 hours ago

D Magazine’s March cover story is titled “Why We Should DFW Airport.” It got Sam Merten thinking. He’s the former Dallas Observer reporter and former manager of public affairs for Mayor Mike Rawlings. Sam couldn’t help but comb through the city’s budget and start wondering how we might use the proceeds from the sale. Then he wrote the following, which I pass along as food for thought on this Friday afternoon.

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AT&T’s Huge Downtown Video Board Gets a Blessing From the Plan Commission

| 18 hours ago

If you’re just joining us, AT&T has pledged to throw $100 million behind renovations of the area connecting its handful of downtown skyscrapers, which it’s calling the Discovery District. The urban core’s massive corporate tenant is planning for trees, green space, fountains, a sculpture, and places to eat and drink. It also wants a giant video board, six stories and 9,300 square feet in all.

The largest video board at Globe Life Park measures about 5,000 square feet. Even the one at Jerry World is only about 11,400. We are talking about the largest screen in Dallas. Here’s a slightly different angle from the photo up top:

On Thursday, the City Plan Commission signed off on the specs. The biggest point of contention: just exactly what AT&T plans to broadcast.

“I can think of lots of example that seem like advertising,” said Commissioner Maria Gomez. “I caution against a sign that’s just a big billboard.”

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Local News

Leading Off (3/22/19)

| 19 hours ago

Jerk Bartender at High & Tight Arrested For Beating Up Woman. Austin Shuffield, a bartender at the Deep Ellum bar and barber shop, got upset when a woman blocked the path to their parking lot. A video catches him confronting her with a gun in his hand. She tries to push him away. He tucks the gun into his pants, and then punches her in the face and upper body about five times. Shuffield was charged with assault causing bodily injury, interfering with an emergency call, and public intoxication.

Judge Temporarily Closes ‘Shingle Mountain.’ Judge Gena Slaughter signed a restraining order that blocks Blue Star Recycling from stacking more shingles atop one another in an enormous pile off Interstate 45. The case first went to court three months ago, and attorneys pleaded with the judge not to stop the operation, lest it cause the company to shut down. In the meantime, residents who live near the huge pile said they kept getting sick and coughing up “black stuff.” Blue Star’s attorney, meanwhile, apparently told the judge with a straight face that he visited the site on a windy day and didn’t see any black dust swirling in the air.

DeSoto’s Warning Sirens Were Hacked. You may recall that Friday night in 2017 when the emergency sirens all over the city of Dallas began blaring. It was surreal at first, then it became sort of comical. It also helped that it was a Friday night. In DeSoto, they went off at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday March 12. Yesterday, the city said it was the result of “malicious incursions to our outdoor siren network.” They’re offline until the city can fix the issue.

Clown-Masked Robbers May Be Behind Eight Others. A group of five kids wearing clown masks followed a couple home to their residence near White Rock Lake and car jacked them. Police caught three, but two are at large. They’re believed to be behind eight other robberies. Be aware out there.

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Arts & Entertainment

Weekend Round-Up: The Color Run, Free Festivals, and Modern Magic

| 1 day ago

Thank God it’s Thursday. It’s looking like a beautiful and busy weekend in Dallas. Let’s get planning!

There are two very different festivals heading our way over the next few days. First off – this one’s for the grown and sexy – we have the Dallas Arboretum’s Food and Wine Festival, a tasteful and fancy array of happenings centered around local chefs and fine wines. Then there’s Waterfest, The Statler’s summer pool party kickoff and parody of Fyre Festival, which sounds quite millennial.

On the artsy side of things, we’ve got world premiere performances from Dallas Chamber Symphony and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, a feminist theater festival at Bishop Arts Theatre, and a variety of shows at the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus.

If you’re looking for a laugh, you can see Carol Burnett at the Winspear on Thursday and Friday, or check out magician Trigg Watson’s witty act at Checkered Past Winery on Friday and Saturday.

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Who Wore the Look Best? Patrick Kennedy or Mike Rawlings?

| 2 days ago

On the left, Patrick Kennedy, urban designer, sometime D Magazine contributor, co-founder of the Coalition for a New Dallas, as pictured in a 2015 profile in our pages. On the right, Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO, soon to be former Dallas mayor, as pictured on our April cover (on newsstands this weekend). It’s a hard look to pull off. You know what I mean. Don’t look at the camera. Look away from it. Slightly up. As if someone up in a cherry picker about 50 feet away just said, “Yo momma is so fat that when she sat on Walmart, she lowered the prices.”

So the question, dear reader:

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Sports & Leisure

George W. Bush Cards Hole in One

| 2 days ago

Yesterday on No. 12 at Trinity Forest, the former president knocked it in from the tee box. I think everyone, no matter political persuasion, can agree that that yellow soccer ball golf ball is really ugly.

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Local News

In Case the Mavs Needed Another Reason to Rebrand, Allow Kaufman County To Help

| 2 days ago

Someone in the city of Kemp is paying attention to Dallas politics. Scrolling through Twitter this morning, I saw this from Skyler Thiot, a local artist and perhaps the city’s foremost advocate of a Dallas Mavericks redesign:


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Merritt Tierce Wins $50,000 Whiting Award for Her Novel Love Me Back

| 2 days ago

Hopefully you know the name Merritt Tierce. She now lives in LA and writes for Orange Is the New Black, but she got her start in North Texas. She has written for D Magazine. She contributes to our annual micro fiction feature. And, of course, she wrote the 2014 novel Love Me Back. If you live in Dallas and you haven’t yet read the book, you really should.

Last night, the Whiting Foundation recognized the book with a $50,000 check. I assume it was a check. It would be cool if they handed Merritt $50,000 in cash stuffed into a Tumi backpack like the one Phillip Jones carries. But I’m guessing that’s not the way it works.

Anyway, here’s what the Whiting selection committee said about Merritt’s book:

Merritt Tierce’s novel Love Me Back is marked by extraordinary daring and restraint, boldly refusing epiphany at the end. Hers is a sui generis presence in fiction, one that approaches economically marginalized lives with an unflinching and off-kilter gaze. There is a coldness to the writing that exhilarates; Tierce’s work chafes against the notion that female protagonists need be relatable. This is clear-eyed, dark-hearted, and mordantly funny writing about getting stuck inside your own mistakes. Once read it can’t be forgotten.

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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Imagines a Future Without Screens

| 2 days ago

Yesterday Randall Stephenson was interviewed onstage by Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein at the spring luncheon of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. (I was not invited.) As he waved around an iPhone, he said:

We carry around these devices and they’re bigger than they should be, because there’s a lot of computing in here, there’s a lot of storage in here. When you get to 5G, all that computing, all that storage goes away — it’s back in the network. These form factors, some would say they shrink.

I say they go away. It is conceivable that we’re going to be moving into a world without screens, a world where this [points to his glasses] is your screen. You don’t need any more of a form factor than this, once the computing and storage requirements move out and into the network. And guys like you [waving to the TV cameras in the back] can think very differently about how you deliver your content to your customers. It becomes a delivery without screens. It’s just a totally different experience.

Put it all in the network. Yeah, can’t see how that could possibly go wrong.

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Leading Off

Leading Off (3/21/19)

| 2 days ago

Dallas’ Board of Adjustment Voted to Shut Down South Dallas Car Wash. It was ruled that Jim’s Car Wash on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard has an “adverse effect” on surrounding properties and contributes to crime in the area.

Shingle Mountain May Be No More. The huge mound of asphalt shingles in southeast Dallas may disappear soon. City Hall revoked a certificate of occupancy that Blue Star Recycling has used to keep and grind the shingles there.

North Central Expressway May Change Names in Richardson. The Texas House initially approved renaming the part of U.S. Highway 75 that goes from the George Bush Turnpike to I-635 after officer David Sherrard, who died in the line of duty last year. It would be called the Officer David Sherrard Memorial Highway if the House gives it final approval today and if the Senate then approves it.

Hillary Clinton Wants Regina Montoya to be Dallas Mayor. The former presidential hopeful endorsed the Dallas attorney for the mayoral race. “She is committed to her community of Dallas, her state, and our country. Regina has dedicated her life to making sure everyone has access to opportunity. She is exactly the kind of leader and role model we need to have in public service today,” Clinton said.

Lakewood Package Thief Gets Probation. Kelli Russell, who had stolen $5,000 worth of packages off porches in East Dallas, received two years of deferred adjudication probation.

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