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Transportation

Elevated High-Speed Rail Through Downtown Dallas Appears Dead

As Dallas "pauses" its support for high-speed rail to Fort Worth, the regional transportation authority considers rerouting the train away from downtown.
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Gay people can be boring, too.

From a DMN story about the Turtle Creek Chorale’s gala: “They showed me pictures of their two girls, 8 and 11 (both adorable). Gay life, after all, is not one note—the social scene, clubbing, fashion—but a harmony of them, bachelorhood and fatherhood, wild times and domesticity, one of the beautiful stories about gay life in the 21th [sic] century.” It’s Pride Month, so I wanted to make sure y’all knew that. Poppers? Yes! But also just doing the dishes and going to bed early.

Source: Dallas Morning News

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The Dallas Zoo welcomes Huckleberry and Juniper.

The Zoo says the two chicks hatched last month and live at the Whooping Crane Center of Texas, which is located at Samuell Farm in Mesquite. The eggs came from the International Crane Foundation. Zoo officials say that the hatchlings will be monitored to make sure they don’t get used to being around humans, and once physical and social cues present themselves, they’ll be introduced into the wild.

The two hatchlings are the second and third chicks the zoo has raised. Last June, Leviathan hatched and was later released into the Louisiana wetlands. In January, he was found dead of a gunshot wound.

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Dallas Zoo/Sarah M.

Source: Dallas Morning News

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Opal Lee gets her home back.

The “Grandmother of Juneteenth” was 12 years old when a mob stormed up to their home at 940 East Annie Street in Fort Worth. The racists forced the family out while police watched, then trashed the house and burned their belongings. It happened on June 19, 1939. Trinity Habitat for Humanity wound up buying the lot many decades later and gave it back to Lee. The organization then built a new house on the property, and Lee—who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work to make Juneteenth a federal holiday—got the keys yesterday.

Source: WFAA

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Dallas woman tells her story to Congress.

Yesterday, Lauren Miller told lawmakers that she and her husband learned that her pregnancy was not viable and she had to travel to another state to have an abortion. Democrats called her to provide testimony during a hearing to protect the right of individuals to travel to receive the procedure. Miller had to go to Colorado to terminate her pregnancy after learning through an ultrasound that one of her twins had serious abnormalities and would likely not survive.

Source: Dallas Morning News

Thursday, June 13
Galleries

Gallery: The NBA Finals Return to Dallas

It wasn't the outcome we hoped for, but the MFFL faithful packed the plaza ahead of the Finals returning to the American Airlines Center for the first time since 2011.
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Silver Skylarks will put grooves in your ears Sunday night.

The other day, I played golf with my 25-year-old son. “I want you to check out this new Dallas band,” I told him and then played some tunes as we knocked it around the course. My son dug it. I share this anecdote because my son is cooler than I am, so you should take his word, not mine. He thinks The Number One Set and Sound, by the Silver Skylarks, is good stuff. In February, Zac described it as “funk-inflected, Afrobeat-indebted, live hip-hop soul that should appeal to fans of Khruangbin and Black Pumas.”

That is your setup. Skin Wade writes in to tell us: “Installment 3 of our Silver Skylarks listening series is this Sunday evening in Oak Cliff at LadyLove. I’ll be there with Danny and Luke Sardello from the label and Josey Records. Starts at 6. We go through the record track by track and imbibe and have a good time. Luke spins afterwards till 9. And the dudes from The Formula will be giving away a pair of tickets to Raekwon and BranooFunck on June 29 as well.”

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Johnny Canales, the Dick Clark of the Hispanic community, has passed away.

His wife, Nora, posted this morning on the El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales Facebook page that the 77-year-old had died. Our managing editor, Aileen Jimenez, interviewed him back in 2022 for our first ever music issue. She had wanted to find out why Tejano music had disappeared from Dallas airwaves, and her father suggested that she call the godfather of the genre, who is credited with introducing numerous emerging stars to the world, including Selena Quintanilla, himself. To Aileen’s surprise, Canales was more than happy to get on the phone and reminisce. Read the article and catch Aileen on Telemundo 39 later today.

Where Did Tejano Music Go?

I was convinced the soundtrack to my childhood had all but disappeared. Turns out, I just had to tune in.
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Selena 214
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News

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Just Isn’t Making Its Money Go Far Enough

Underperforming investments have forced Dallas to look at paying more than $11 billion over the next 30 years to keep the fund solvent.
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The only heartwarming moment of Game 3.

Lest you ever doubt Dirk Nowitzki’s commitment to the Mavs, he elbowed his buddy Steve Nash in the chest for not cheering loud enough during that attempted comeback. Just best friends doing best friend stuff.

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Dallas shells out almost three-quarters of a million bucks on car accidents.

Yesterday, the Dallas City Council approved about $740,000 in settlements related to car accidents in which city employees were involved. The six items were on the consent agenda, which is a list of agenda items that are bundled together for one vote and generally have little discussion.

The price tags for those six accidents range from $36,000 to $270,000. Incidents include a Dallas Sanitation Service truck that made a U-turn and hit a car ($270,000) and a Dallas Fire-Rescue fire truck driven by a firefighter that failed to yield to traffic ($248,500). 

District 14 Councilmember Paul Ridley—who represents Downtown, Uptown, and East Dallas—said that the expenditures were getting “out of control” and asked interim City Manager Kimberly Bizor Tolbert to review the city’s policies regarding driver training and the consequences for causing traffic accidents.

Source: KERA

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Texas may need to double its power generation in the next six years.

Officials with ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission told state lawmakers Wednesday that they predict that Texas will need to double its power generation within the next six to 10 years. The two agencies said that August is when it gets the most dicey—around 9 p.m. the energy from solar power goes offline. ERCOT predicts that August will bring a 16 percent chance that the grid will need to take measures to encourage people to conserve energy, and a 12 percent chance rolling blackouts might occur in parts of the state.

A report from the two entities says that the biggest drivers are new artificial intelligence data centers, cryptocurrency mining, Permian basin oil facilities switching to electric power, and the general growth in the state.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick indicated on social media that Wednesday’s report contained brand-new information.

Source: NBC DFW

Wednesday, June 12
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City Council elects new leadership, kerfuffle follows.

The Dallas City Council is meeting today, and of the many things on the agenda one was the task of electing mayor pro tem and deputy mayor pro tem. That task doesn’t generally create much excitement. The Council chose to re-elect Tennell Atkins as mayor pro tem, which means that when Mayor Eric Johnson is out (which rarely ever happens, right?), Atkins runs the meetings. The same body also picked Adam Bazaldua as its deputy mayor pro tem, which is like being the understudy to the understudy (or the middle child).

The Bazaldua choice is definitely interesting. He’s more liberal than Johnson, who has a newfound zeal for conservatism. What is also interesting is how the vote played out. Both Atkins and Bazaldua were nominated for mayor pro tem. Atkins got eight votes to Bazaldua’s seven, with Omar Narvaez, Chad West, Gay Donnell Willis, Paula Blackmon, Jaynie Schultz, Bazaldua himself, and Jaime Resendez voting for Bazaldua. He was the sole nominee for deputy, with 14 of his colleagues voting for him. (Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn cast her ballot for “none,” the only other option.)

Having become deputy mayor pro tem (technically it’s official on June 17), Bazaldua motioned to move up an agenda item that, if passed, would condemn Senate Bill 4, which allows state and local police to arrest people they believe are in the country illegally. A gallery full of people was on hand to provide comment on the issue; he didn’t want to make them wait. Instead, the apparently angered mayor moved to go into a quick recess and then was seen walking toward Bazaldua. One councilmember told me, “It was a little wild.” Bazaldua said, “The mayor wasn’t so good at hiding his true colors when the cameras were still on.”

This is going to be fun, right?

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The NBA Finals resume tonight.

And with Dallas trailing 0-2, Game 3 in the American Airlines Center will likely spell the difference between the Mavs making this a series or biding their time until elimination. Your pregame reading comes from Iztok Franko, our resident Slovenian, who flew to Dallas to watch Luka in person these next two games. He wrote this on the plane, because he loves us all that much. And if you want pregame listening, too, then I suggest yours truly gabbing with The Athletic’s Tim Cato and StrongSide contributor Austin Ngaruiya. Just six and a half hours until tipoff.

It’s Now Or Never For the Mavericks. Here’s How Dallas Wins Game 3.

Win tonight, and we may have a series on our hands. Lose, and it’s all but over. These are the adjustments Dallas must make.
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Is the NBA ashamed of Mavs owner Miriam Adelson?

Yesterday’s episode of the Pablo Torre Finds Out podcast kicked off with a detail I hadn’t seen reported before. Adelson’s politics were so extreme, Torre said, that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver required her to select a different governor—the individual with a controlling interest in the team—before allowing the sale to go through. That’s how her stepson, Patrick Dumont, came to touch the Western Conference Finals trophy before anyone else on the team after the Mavs dispatched the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Here is Torre’s full quote:

“The first thing that I need you to know about Miriam Adelson is something I found out while reporting this episode, which is that her political reputation was apparently so radioactive that the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver would not allow her to be the governor of the team, the controlling owner in other words, the face of the Mavericks, the person who would show up to these board of governors meetings, even though, of course, the league would happily take the money of the fifth richest woman in America.”

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Celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Mavs’ championship.

It happened 13 years ago tonight. I was at my friend Joe’s house with some friends and colleagues, including Jessica Otte, who took the photo I am sharing here of my shirtless, then-tiny son (who is now 20 years old???) jumping into my arms immediately after the final buzzer. We drove home the slow way, honking and yelling at the other cars who were honking and yelling at us, all very happily. May that set the vibes for tonight. (To otherwise help, I am wearing a 2011 championship t-shirt and my blue ‘Playoff’ Kyrie 1s.)

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Jessica Otte
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The Dallas officers who mocked a disabled veteran won’t receive further punishment.

Interim City Manager Kim Tolbert says she felt sensitivity training and a written reprimand were sufficient disciplinary measures for a group of off-duty cops who refused to allow a veteran to use the bathroom of a Deep Ellum pizza shop. The veteran, who had paperwork showing that he should be allowed to use employee restrooms because of his disability, urinated himself. The officers were captured on bodycam footage mocking the man, and the matter was presented to the police oversight board for review.

Source: KERA News

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UT Dallas protesters aren’t allowed on campus and can’t receive their diplomas.

The 21 people arrested during protests at UT Dallas still have pending criminal trespass charges, which bars them from campus property. Student Mousa Najjar was one of the people arrested, a group that also included faculty and a few others with no tie to the university. He recently held up a Palestinian flag during his graduation ceremony that displayed the words “divest from death,” urging the university to divest from any company that supplies weapons for the war in Gaza. He was ushered off campus and learned there was a hold on his official transcript, which prevented him from getting his diploma. The university won’t say how many other students are unable to receive their diplomas because of “federal student privacy laws.”

Source: Dallas Morning News

Tuesday, June 11
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What are we thinking about a 2-0 Finals deficit?

Only five teams have come back from the situation in which your Dallas Mavericks now find themselves, but one happened just a few years ago (the Milwaukee Bucks) and another has at least some narrative relevance (2006 Miami Heat). When I told StrongSide’s Mike Piellucci yesterday that the Mavs would definitely win Game 3, he seemed a little surprised. Not that he disagreed, just that I was so sure about it. I was and I am. And it’s probably even worse: I still think that Mavs can and will win this series. What do you guys think? Am I just a romantic fool? Wouldn’t be the first time!

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Kristaps Porzingis is hurt.

According to Shams Charania, KP has a “torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon.” [struggles with all of might to behave like a decent human being and remember that we are talking about another human being, one who is injured and in pain and deserves nothing but thoughts and prayers] … [loses struggle] Hell, yes!!!!

I am being totally honest here. I feel super bad about how good this makes me feel.

Source: Shams Charania

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Mayor Eric Johnson gives As to ‘TxMo’ Qs.

The July issue of Texas Monthly contains a Q&A with the mayor. It’s a shorter version of what just went online. You should read it. And if you’ve already hit the paywall, I encourage you to fork over the $2. Anyway, because I’ve become the arbiter of Mayor Johnson’s sartorial choices, it is my duty to comment on the portrait by Michael Starghill that accompanies the TxMo Q&A. Herewith is my commentary:

Still loving the hat. The tie is too short.

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Source: Texas Monthly

Dallas History

Revisiting Highland Park’s ‘House of Horrors’

A bizarre residence and an even stranger crime brought a writer back to Dallas in 1977.
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Jim Nill is the best general manager in hockey, again.

Despite their recent upset loss in the NHL’s Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Stars remain a very interesting hockey team. That’s partly because they’re really good, and most really good teams are some level of interesting. But what makes this team so intriguing is how it’s built. Jim Nill is the “yes, and” of hockey general managers, a dude who insists on always trying to contend but never doing so at the expense of his team’s future. This is how you get old heads like Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and until recently, Joe Pavelski, intermingling with early twentysomethings Wyatt Johnston, Thomas Harley, and Logan Stankoven on what’s becoming a perennial Cup contender.

It’s about the toughest way to try to build a roster in sports, and somehow Nill pulls it off better than anyone in recent memory, which probably has something to do with his repeating as the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year at last night’s NHL awards. He’s only the second man to go back to back, his four finalist nods are the most ever in the award’s history, and he’s probably blanching at all the attention since he likes to keep a low profile. Tough to fly under the radar, though, when you’re one of the best team architects in sports.

Related, recommended reading: David Castillo’s piece from this morning on how Nill’s roster is so good that the Stars will probably be even more dangerous next year despite Pavelski, the team’s second-leading scorer, announcing his retirement last week.

No Pavelski, No Problem: Why the Stars Will Be Even Better Next Season

Rarely does a team lose its second-leading scorer and seem poised for improvement. But Dallas is.
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A Dallas basketball mystery.

This morning, I spotted this assemblage of basketballs riding atop an SUV on Ross Avenue, in downtown. The Yukon Denali is a Hotel Zaza courtesy car. What in the name of James Naismith is going on here? Tell me in the comments. Wrong answers only.

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Does Dallas’ City Charter need a preamble?

Dallas reviews its charter—the governing document that dictates how the city operates—once every 10 years. For the past few months, a volunteer commission debated amendments submitted by the public before passing its recommendations to the City Council for review. Now, council members are contributing their own suggestions.

Councilmember Adam Bazaldua wants to add a preamble to the charter. The language isn’t binding, but he said it is meant to be a vision statement that “adds context to the charter.” The draft proclaims that the city should recognize its history and diverse populations when making policy decisions, although much of what it lays out is also established in the city’s racial equity plan.

It takes its inspiration (and lifts its structure and much of its wording) from the preamble to New York City’s charter, which voters approved in 2022. And like New York’s, it’s long—668 words. By comparison, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution is 52 words. 

Bazaldua told us yesterday that the idea for the preamble actually came from former City Councilmember Diane Ragsdale, who pointed out that Dallas’ charter didn’t have one. “I agreed it was a necessary addition,” he says. The proposed preamble is a near-verbatim version of New York’s, Bazaldua said, because it is meant to be a starting point. The document is “nowhere near the final version to be brought forth to voters, it still has many edits and revisions to go through.”

Bazaldua said he used New York’s preamble to “guide” the draft. “The values they outline, specifically about equity, opportunities for residents, and historical acknowledgements are all values we too are striving to model our city around,” he says.

Read the entire proposed preamble for Dallas’ charter here.

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Plano ISD to close four schools.

PISD made it official at last night’s board meeting. The district will save $5 million annually by closing Davis and Forman elementary schools and Carpenter and Armstrong middle schools. If you think some families from those four schools aren’t happy, then you think right.

Source: Fox 4

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Scottie Scheffler story, because you gotta have a Scottie Scheffler story.

Ahead of the U.S. Open, the DMN’s Brad Townsend has a story about the best golfer from Highland Park (or anywhere else). Townsend didn’t get Scottie himself, but he got to talk to some family members and coaches. If you’re a golf fan, it’s worth your time.

Source: Dallas Morning News

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Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Church resigns to atone for sin.

Senior pastor Tony Evans was one of the founders of Oak Cliff Bible Church, which has a congregation of about 10,000 souls. On Sunday, he announced he is stepping down from his post for a “healing and restoration process.” He wrote a letter to his congregation that read, in part, “The foundation of our ministry has always been our commitment to the Word of God as the absolute supreme standard of truth to which we are to conform our lives. When we fall short of that standard due to sin, we are required to repent and restore our relationship with God. A number of years ago, I fell short of that standard. I am, therefore, required to apply the same biblical standard of repentance and restoration to myself that I have applied to others.”

Source: Dallas Morning News

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Dallas police chief gets sweet pay deal.

Remember when Austin and Houston were recruiting Chief Eddie García, so Dallas gave him $10,000 stay put? Now we know the city, in its offer letter, also made him this promise: “The city is committed to paying you a base salary of $306,440.40 or the highest salary for a police chief of a Texas city with a population of over one million.” If I’m Houston, I raise my police chief’s salary right now to $3 million and put out a press release (then, in about a week, lower that salary back to its previous number).

Source: Dallas Morning News

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Pastor sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Whitney Foster, 56, was convicted of stealing more than $800,000 worth of real estate from three North Texas churches: First Christian Church of Lancaster, Canada Drive Christian Church, and Church at Nineveh. He led the True Foundation Non-Denominational Church, a small congregation that did not have its own physical place of worship.

Source: Dallas Morning News

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