Tuesday, November 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022
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A Daily Conversation About Dallas
Local News

Leading Off (11/29/22)

Tim Rogers
By |

Danny Balis Joins The Freak. The longtime Ticket producer who resigned from his job in May has rejoined some of his pals on a different frequency, 97.1 on your FM dial, and will play a bigger role on The Downbeat, Mike Rhyner’s afternoon drive show. Congrats to the Knox City Knocker.

Flu Hits Hard in North Texas. For the first time since the pandemic started, flu hospitalizations here outnumber COVID-19 hospitalizations (479 to 444), and docs are saying this is shaping up to be the worst flu season in a decade. It’s not too late to get your flu shot.

Allen ISD Approves Rezoning. At a contentious meeting last night, the board voted 6-1 to approve a plan to redraw attendance boundaries. The lone voter against the plan, Vatsa Ramanathan, then resigned his seat.

USA! USA! USA! The U.S. Men’s National Team plays Iran today at 1 p.m. and must win to remain in the World Cup. I am predicting a score of 5-0, with Christian Pulisic scoring a hat trick, Weston McKennie finding the onion bag once, and keeper Matt Turner scoring the final goal on a 100-yard shot in stoppage time to salt away the victory.


Two Icons of Dallas’ Residential Real Estate Industry Pass Away

Brandon J. Call
By |
Courtesy of Ebby Halliday Realtors

The Dallas residential real estate community is mourning the losses of two greats: Pierce Allman, co-founder of Allie Beth Allman & Associates, died on Friday after being in hospice care. He was 88.

In addition, the former CEO of Ebby Halliday Cos. Mary Frances Burleson, 87, died on Sunday morning of natural causes.

Local News

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Reporters Began Their Strike Monday. The Company Is Now Listing Their Jobs.

Bethany Erickson
By |
star telegram strike
Unionized journalists with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram voted to go on strike this week. Courtesy Fort Worth NewsGuild

The unionized newsroom at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram began an open-ended strike Monday. By 3 p.m., parent company McClatchy had locked reporters out of their emails and laptops and declared them ineligible for healthcare benefits by taking an “unpaid leave.” The company also began listing those workers’ jobs.

The Fort Worth NewsGuild voted in favor of the strike after two years of negotiations failed to convince McClatchy to move its base wage from $45,000 to $57,000, what the union said was a livable wage in Tarrant County. To anyone’s knowledge, it’s the first open-ended strike at a newspaper in Texas, which is a right-to-work state.

In an email obtained by D Magazine, Executive Editor Steve Coffman told employees that the company will “respect each employee’s individual decision” when it comes to the strike, and added that “employees also have a legally protected right to not engage in strike activity.”

Coffman said that the paper’s offices remain open but that the paper would also begin looking for journalists to continue producing the daily publication. 

“We have plans in place to ensure that our readers can continue to count on us,” he said. “To prioritize our readers and their needs, we are recruiting journalists to ensure that we continue to provide full coverage of local news in Tarrant County and North Texas. Those jobs will be posted today.”


The Mavericks Don’t Expect Kemba Walker to Save Them, and You Shouldn’t Either

Mike Piellucci
By |
A balky knee has sapped many of Kemba Walker's gifts. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This festering wound of a Mavs season has reached the “sign Kemba Walker three years after chasing him in free agency” stage of the proceedings. And, yes, it’s a stage. To clarify, I’m referring less to the belated capture of a player who would have clogged up their books were he getting paid max money—although this inadvertent strategy worked reasonably well with Deron Williams and less so with DeAndre Jordan—than I am the team finally turning to Walker six or so weeks after giving him the cold shoulder.


Join Me Way Out West

Matt Goodman
By |
West Texas Highways
Amber Arnold

Far West Texas feels like the edge of the world, a remote part of the state where the crowds disappear and the terrain turns rugged and unforgiving but also, somehow, beautiful and mesmerizing. For the magazine’s annual travel story, we generally find new and interesting hotels and bungalows across the state.

And this year, we did too: except it was just me and my wife, Amber, and we stayed in recently renovated boomtown hotels in quiet towns and hip concrete cubes in the desert. We drove along the edge of mountain ranges and took in hundreds of acres of modern art. We hung out with cats at a winery, drank Lone Stars under the Milky Way, ate nachos for breakfast, and did our fair share of hiking. We even found great barbecue at the edge of the state.

The cover story for our November issue, called “West Texas Waltz,” is online today. Get out there.

Local News

Leading Off (11/28/22)

Zac Crain
By |

ICYMI: Cowboys Win. I assume unless you were knocked out by too much turkey and then lost your phone until this morning—or you have decided to only follow World Cup news, or you are boycotting sports because of the circumstances surrounding this World Cup, or you are boycotting the Cowboys because of the recently surfaced photo of Jerry Jones at North Little Rock High School in 1957 when it was being desegregated—that you know the Cowboys defeated the New York Football Giants on Thanksgiving Day. If not, Mike has broken it down like a fraction at StrongSide.

Could Be Unseasonably Warm Early This Week. Not hot. 75 degrees is not hot. But it’s almost December and it should not be 75 degrees. End of November I’m should be wearing a jacket, not carrying it around like a dope.

Mavs Lose Fourth Straight, Now Under .500. Been a pretty brutal stretch for your Dallas Mavericks. After giving away the second of two games against Denver, the team went on a three-game road trip and then: had to battle back just to make it remotely respectable against Boston; lost a chance to tie it up in Toronto on an ugly turnover by the 2018 version of Dorian Finney-Smith, who somehow found a crack in the multiverse and made his way onto the court; and apparently let Yung Ted Cruz get off to a quick start in Milwaukee, which they couldn’t recover from. I say “apparently” because this was the first game of the season of which I didn’t see one single second. Instead, I was watching the very fun and funny Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery with my son. (It’s called bonding. Maybe try it sometime.) Anyway, maybe it’s time to put Josh Green into the starting lineup?

Some Good Shots of the Bald Eagles at White Rock Lake. I don’t condone it necessarily but there is one here showing an eagle cruising with a fish in its talons, which is incredibly metal. The eagles (baldies?) have a new nest and seem to be thriving … to the chagrin of the local fish population. [lightly chuckling] Newy?

TCU Crushes Iowa State, Moves Up to No. 3. The Horned Frogs smoked the … Cyclones (??) 62-14 in Fort Worth and, based on the photo I received from an attendee, it was a pretty fun scene after. Next up is the Big 12 championship game and likely a spot in the College Football Playoff if they win, since the undefeated Frogs are up to third in the AP poll, partly thanks to Ohio State (sorry, Kathy Wise) losing to Michigan (congrats, Christine Perez).

Thank You to Micah Parsons. While Cowboys linebacker Parsons may be great on the field, he’s also a great human being, personally making sure that 1,000 families could have a Thanksgiving dinner today. 

Thanks to These Good Dogs. Who’s a good dog? Kahlua and Frenchie, who provide “unbiased, unconditional care and affection 100% of the time” at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital-Plano.

We’re Not As Thankful for This Weather. It’s a very soggy day today. Drive carefully if you’re headed out to family dinner, like there’s a casserole dish of green bean casserole, two pies, and a very large pan of mac and cheese in the trunk.

We Are Thankful for This Twitter Thread. Tatsu Dallas is one of the hardest reservations to get right now, and dining critic Brian Reinhart explained why in our November issue. But SideDish editor Nataly Keomoungkhoun took to Twitter to explain just how good Tatsu is at the details. You really need to read this heartwarming thread.

Politics & Government

Some Texas Legislators Push School Vouchers Despite Continued Resistance

Bethany Erickson
By |
Students take part in class at Tolbert Elementary. Courtesy Dallas ISD

At least two bills have been filed for next year’s state legislative session that place school vouchers on the table once again. And, as expected, the same groups—lawmakers, public school advocates, and school districts—are lining up to say it will never happen.

Voucher programs would take state funds and give them to parents who wish to place their children in private schools instead of public schools. The idea has earned plenty of attention as both an applause line during midterm campaigning and as the 88th Texas Legislature eyes its January convening.

Last May, Gov. Greg Abbott couched vouchers in terms of school choice and parental empowerment.  “We can fully fund public schools while also giving parents a choice about which school is right for their child,” he said. “Empowering parents means giving them the choice to send their children to any public school, charter school or private school with state funding following the student.”

Abbott sought to allay fears that a push for vouchers would come at the expense of public schools. “If you like the public school your child is attending,” Abbott said, “it will still be fully funded.”

The idea of taking public money away from public schools seems to be the inflection point for voters, too. Polling that same month showed that voters were split on the matter—46 percent were in support of vouchers, while 43 percent were against it. More than 10 percent were unsure. However, the same poll also found that 82 percent were worried that a voucher program would reduce public school funding.

Historically, voucher bills haven’t passed because it’s the rare topic that is opposed by a majority of both sides of the aisle.


Colleagues of Anesthesiologist Accused of Tampering With IV Bags Testify They Were ‘Terrified’ of Him

Will Maddox
By |
Courtesy: U.S. Attorneys Office Courtesy: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas

The Richardson anesthesiologist who was arrested after allegedly tampering with IV bags at a Baylor Scott & White outpatient surgery center “terrified” “virtually all” of his colleagues who were interviewed by federal investigators, according to an FDA agent who testified in a hearing earlier this month.

Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz is accused of adding nerve-blocking agents to IV bags, which resulted in at least 12 cardiac complications and the death of his colleague. She unknowingly took a tampered IV bag home, administered it to herself, and died of a heart attack soon after. The alleged actions came to light after several otherwise healthy patients had adverse reactions in August. Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas ceased operations while it investigated the incidents.

FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Special Agent Dan Allgeyer testified that federal agents interviewed dozens of former coworkers who described their fear of retaliation and aggression. He said that facilities where Ortiz worked would be “beefing up security” if he were released.


If The United States Ever Wins a Men’s World Cup, They’ll Have FC Dallas to Thank

By Mark Dent |
Weston McKennie (left) and Kellyn Acosta are two of four players on the United States' World Cup roster to come out of FC Dallas' academy. Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

As you prepare to watch England and the United States play in the men’s World Cup on Friday, try to imagine another matchup between the two countries. 

The year is 2042, and FIFA is holding the 27th installment of the world’s most popular sporting event. Watering holes across the United States are packed. So is the World Cup stadium, where fans, with faces painted in red and white as well as red, white, and blue, are absolutely rabid. In fact, the fervor for men’s American soccer has never been higher because this isn’t just a group-stage game. This is the World Cup final.  

It’s a rose-colored vision, certainly. The U.S. Men’s National Team’s best performance since a semifinal appearance in the first World Cup was a 2002 quarterfinal, and it didn’t even qualify for the event in 2018. But should this grand future come to fruition, one club will deserve a major share of the credit: FC Dallas.  

Local News

Leading Off (11/23/22)

Matt Goodman
By |

DCAD’s Site Is Still Down. It’s been just about two weeks since hackers infected the Dallas Central Appraisal District’s website with ransomware. The agency has kept quiet beyond confirming the incident. The only news now is that while appraisers are out collecting information in the field, “we just can’t do anything” with that information. Sounds like summer would’ve been the real headache, as homeowners begin protesting their valuations.

Avoid Westbound I-30 This Morning. Interstate 30 near Lamar is shut down after a car got caught between an 18-wheeler and a trash truck. An ambulance came and went, and the highway appears completely closed as of about 6 a.m.

More Officers Coming to DUI Unit. After a number of high-profile fatalities involving drunken drivers, the Dallas Police Department is expanding the unit that watches for drunks from one officer to seven. District Attorney John Creuzot has sounded the alarm for the last few months that Dallas’ stats were higher than other Texas cities. The fatal crash rate was 110 percent higher than Harris County, which has just about twice as many people. “We have a problem, obviously, here in Dallas County,” he told The News.

Your Thanksgiving Forecast. The rain settles in today and continues through Friday, almost guaranteeing to bring thunderstorms on Thanksgiving along with a cold front. Temperatures will be in the 50s, and rain is expected throughout the day. It’ll clear up by Saturday.


An Out of This World Old 97’s Show

Ken Bethea
By |
Old 97s christmas special
Space Oddities: The members of Bzermilkitokolok and the Knowheremen, aka the Old 97’s: (from left) Ken Bethea, Rhett Miller, Philip Peeples, and Murry Hammond. Disney

With a deep breath, I ripped into a guitar solo, but something distracted me. For starters, I was playing on a street corner of an otherworldly dystopian city in front of a large crowd of dancing aliens. I glanced at my hands, and for some reason I was wearing fingerless gloves and playing a dirty, rusty Flying V guitar that I don’t own. Standing directly in front of me was a massive green humanoid, an insect girl with large black eyes, a scowling bald and blue android, a blond Mr. Handsome with a pair of quad blasters strapped to his hips, and, just for good measure, a 3-foot statue of a raccoon. Still rocking the solo, I looked not 6 degrees but 6 inches to my left, where Kevin Bacon was strumming a guitar and smiling at me. Beyond him was the extraterrestrial band Bzermilkitokolok and the Knowheremen. Earthlings know us as the Old 97’s: Rhett Miller, Murry Hammond, Philip Peeples, and me.

Oh, yeah. There were also Christmas lights, and it was snowing. What kind of insanity would the 14-year-old me have thought I had gotten myself into in 2022?

What I had gotten into, along with my bandmates, was a role in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, a Marvel Studios’ production that will begin streaming on Disney+ November 25. In August 2014, I had taken my teenage kids Eliza and Audie to see Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer was goofy. It featured a submachine gun-wielding raccoon and a blue villain whose superpower was a whistle. But the kids told me that the word at Lake Highlands High School was, “Don’t miss it. It’s insane.” They were right. It was the most fun I had had at the theater in years. The movie became a surprise hit, grossing $772 million; the 2017 sequel went even bigger and grossed just under $1 billion worldwide.

Page Cached: 2022-11-29 17:00:01 on http://www02.dmagazine.com