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Politics & Government

Dallas Has the Worst Voters in the Entire Country

| 3 hours ago

For the first time in the city’s history, not a single council member will be term-limited out in an election. On May 6, 11 of the seats will be contested. But will anyone vote? Even in a state that’s never prided itself on electoral turnout, Dallas’ aversion toward the voting booth is exceptional.

In the city’s last municipal election in 2015, only 6.1 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls. A Portland State University study of the most recent mayoral contests in the country’s 30 largest cities found that turnout was low almost everywhere, and that Dallas had the lowest rate of voter participation in the U.S. Fort Worth, tagging along to the bottom of a deep gorge of electoral apathy, was second worst, with 6.5 percent. (Turnout, as it does elsewhere, increases for presidential elections; about 60 percent of registered Dallas voters cast ballots in 2016.)

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Local News

Leading Off (4/25/17)

| 5 hours ago

DMN Launches Ambitious Multipart Crime Story. The first installment of “My Aryan Princess” published today. It’s about an undercover agent who helped bust a bunch of the top brass in the Aryan Brotherhood. I’ve been told this thing has been years in the works. The first chapter is a little over 3,000 words. I read only the first few hundred. I’m hooked.

John Wiley Price Jury Enters Fifth Day of Deliberations. No verdict yesterday. Will today be the day?

Dallas Zoo Expecting Baby Giraffe. Katie is pregnant and expected to deliver sometime in May. This birth won’t be on live TV, if you were wondering.

Person Killed in Crane Accident. Remember when a crane fell into the Dallas Museum of Art? Yesterday afternoon, just down the street, a boom truck crane fell over and killed someone. Watch out for cranes, people.

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Good Public Transit

Would Free Fares Drive More People to Use Public Transit?

| 20 hours ago

James Ragland has a column over on the Dallas Morning News today that offers two suggestions to tackle Dallas’ inequality issues. His first solution is something of a no-brainier: better public schools. The second suggestion, however, wades into a more complicated topic. What if, Ragland asks, public transit in Dallas was free?

As it stands, Dallas Area Rapid Transit is by no means the most expensive public transit system in the country, and fares don’t cover what it costs to move each individual rider through the system. In other words, every ride on public transit is already heavily subsidized. But what if you went all the way and made it free? Ragland cites an article by Matt Hoffman, the vice president of Innovation for Enterprise Community Partners Inc., who advocates for making transit free to ride as one of his “7 Ways Cities Can Become More Equitable, Vibrant and Affordable.” Here’s a quote from Hoffman:

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Two Stories You Should Read Today

| 24 hours ago

If you’ve been paying attention, you know the name Rod Dreher. The conservative writer once sat on the Dallas Morning News’ editorial board. He wrote the books Crunchy Cons and The Little Way of Ruthie Leming. Last month, he published The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, which the Times has called “the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade.” The New Yorker just put up a 7,500-word profile of Dreher. You might need to save that one for tonight.

For a quicker read, go check out this piece by Jim Schutze, wherein all his conspiracy theories about Mayor Mike Rawlings and the West Dallas land grab are proven true. Those (like me) who enjoy a good media fight will love the smackdown that Schutze puts on his former colleague Robert Wilonsky. Good stuff.

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KERA Secretly Launches a New Podcast

| 1 day ago

There are podcasts, and then there are podcasts. We produce a little thing you might be familiar with called EarBurner. Part of the reason we record it in a bar is because we promised ourselves when we started the podcast that we wouldn’t bog down with editing. The ambient noise of the Old Monk makes editing pretty impossible. If someone says something reprehensible or just plain stupid, it stays in the show. Well, except for that one time when the comedian Paul Varghese was a guest. Things got a little out of hand. Mistakes were made. Editing became necessary.

Anyway, there’s the way we do it, and then there’s this new KERA podcast with Seema Yasmin and Lauren Silverman. It is being tested for a possible national rollout by National Public Radio. The first episode of the unnamed show is about the Chicago Tylenol murders of 1982. The women did a lot of reporting for this thing. And the production is topnotch. I can only imagine how many hours of editing went into it.

It’s worth a listen. And every spin will help convince NPR that the show deserves to be picked up.

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Local News

Leading Off (4/24/17)

| 1 day ago

Will We Get a Verdict In the John Wiley Price Trial Today? And if the case results in a hung jury, what then?

Violent Crime Is Up, Number of Police Officers Is Down. The City Council’s Public Safety Committee will be briefed today. Here are the relevant numbers: year to date, as of April 12, overall crime is down 4 percent, but violent crime is up 2 percent (including an 18-percent rise in aggravated assault); DPD has 3,191 officers vs. 3,257 last year. The latter stat seems like it’ll get worse before it better, which probably means the same for the other numbers.

State Rep. Victoria Neave Goes On Hunger Strike to Protest Sanctuary Cities Bill. She had a communion wafer yesterday morning and said that was the last meal she’ll have until Wednesday, when the bill, SB 4, is debated in the Texas House. Her main concern is the bill will keep immigrants from reporting crimes committed against them or testifying in court. I’ll save everyone some time and pre-load the comments with the usual responses.

Two DPD Officers Arrested In Burglary. Officer Angelle Ponseti turned herself in to the Denton County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday; Sgt. Gregory Epley Jr. had done the same on Wednesday. They are both being charged in the 2016 burglary of Epley’s ex-wife’s home in Aubrey. Epley is also being charged with stalking. More here.

Yu Rang? Darvish Has Best Start In Three Years As Rangers Finish Royals Sweep. That’s how I’d write the headline and sub for this if I were on the Morning News copy desk, because I am absolutely shameless.

FC Dallas Is MLS’ Only Unbeaten Team. They stayed that way by beating the league’s other remaining previously unbeaten side, Sporting Kansas City, courtesy of Maynor Figueroa’s 77th-minute header. Also, Ryan Hollingshead was on the roster for the first time since he broke three vertebrae when he was hit by a car while helping out a stranded motorist.

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