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Local News

Dallas-Fort Worth Juneteenth Celebrations Kick Off This Weekend

Bethany Erickson
Nataly Keomoungkhoun
Catherine Wendlandt
By , and Catherine Wendlandt |
Juneteenth observances in North Texas run the gamut this year, offering everything from block parties and barbecues to marches and history lessons. Bret Redman

It’s the third anniversary of Juneteenth’s inclusion in the roster of 11 federal holidays, thanks in large part to the efforts of the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” Opal Lee. Lee famously (and repeatedly) laced up her sneakers starting in 2016 to walk all the way to Washington D.C. to ask that her country officially recognize the holiday celebrated by so many descendants of enslaved persons. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the bill that made that so.

Historically Black neighborhoods and freedman’s towns in North Texas have longstanding celebrations commemorating the day that enslaved people in Galveston were told that President Abraham Lincoln had freed them. Not familiar with the holiday? We recommend reading this profile of Lee from last year, and this discussion with Remembering Black Dallas’ Dr. Deborah Hopes about what Juneteenth means to Dallas in particular.

Below, we have compiled a list of events to help you learn more and celebrate the holiday, starting this weekend.

By next Wednesday afternoon, the four-year trudge of analyses and debate over how the city should manage short-term rentals such as Airbnb and Vrbo in single-family neighborhoods is set to finally be settled. The new City Council will be sworn in June 20, which means that next week’s agenda meeting is the last chance for the present body to establish policy that will affect their operations.

On Wednesday, Council learned its options during a briefing. The city can choose to enact regulations and collect fees and taxes from operators. Or it can follow the recommendation of the City Plan Commission to make those rentals illegal in single-family neighborhoods. The city would use zoning as a cudgel: categorize STRs as businesses similar to hotels. But the folks responsible for the real work—city staff—don’t seem confident that they’ll be able to enforce a broad ban by way of zoning. Regulations would give the city a mechanism to control the bad actors while collecting revenue for the city, they argued.

“I worry that … we’re adding regulations within the zoning ordinance that are going to either create confusion or inefficiencies with the enforcement piece,” said Julia Ryan, the city’s director of planning and urban design.

Local News

Tomorrow, Two Local Races Will Be Decided in Sleepy Runoff Elections

Bethany Erickson
By |
If you live in East Dallas, South Dallas, or North Dallas, you might need to make a plan to go vote again Saturday. Bret Redman

If you live in southern Dallas, North Dallas, and East Dallas, heads up: You probably have some unfinished civic business to attend to.

On May 6, both the Dallas City Council District 3 and the Dallas ISD District 2 races headed to runoff elections after none of the candidates received at least 50 percent of the vote. The May race attracted fewer than 9 percent of Dallas County’s 1.4 million registered voters and two-thirds of those ballots came during early voting.

Jimmy Tran and Sarah Weinberg are vying for the District 2 seat on the Dallas ISD board; current trustee Dustin Marshall announced he wouldn’t seek an additional term and endorsed Weinberg. After the May election, fellow candidate Kevin Malonson endorsed Weinberg as well, and the Dallas Morning News, which had previously endorsed Malonson, shifted its endorsement to Weinberg.

District 2 is kind of a misshapen donut that encircles the Park Cities and stretches past U.S. 75. The Hillcrest and Woodrow Wilson high school feeder patterns are within its bounds. 

In the May election, Weinberg and Tran were in a dead heat for most of the night at about 38 percent of the vote each. Tran and Weinberg eventually garnered 39 and 37 percent of the vote, respectively, landing them on Saturday’s ballot.

Once upon a time, I worked at an alternative Dallas weekly called The Met. I’m afraid it folded before even the Wayback Machine could properly catch a record of it. You’ll just have to trust me. It was great. Maybe.

The Met began its run (more or less) as an SMU student newspaper. So when the writer Sean Mitchell pitched me a story about another, older weekly that also had SMU roots, I was game. The Iconoclast had an unwieldy name, but to hear Sean tell it, the paper’s office operated in a way that Met staffers would appreciate. (Even if we were never investigated by the FBI.)

That’s your setup. Sean’s story about the Iconoclast, which published in the June issue of D Magazine, went online today. We’re happy to bring you this slice of Dallas history.

Austin Developer Involved in Paxton Probe Arrested on FBI Hold. Travis County law enforcement say they arrested Nate Paul on behalf of the FBI, but didn’t have any further information. The 36-year-old real estate developer is accused of bribing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as well as allegedly hiring his mistress. Paxton’s aides blew the whistle on Paul and Paxton’s relationship, which was the first step in the investigation that led to the House impeaching the attorney general. Now, its in the hands of the Texas Senate.

Chase! This one started near the Frank Crowley Courts Building and led authorities to Arlington, near AT&T Stadium. The incident started in the 100 block of Commerce Street, across from the jail, after callers reported a man with a handgun in his lap inside a car. He blew a tire somewhere on Interstate 30, pulled off at Randol Mill Road, and ran on foot through the parking lots of AT&T Stadium. It’s always over when they take off running.

Severe Storms Possible Saturday. The metro area all the way up to Oklahoma is at an “enhanced” risk for severe weather on Saturday, with about a 40 percent chance of rain. If it happens, it’ll be in the afternoon. Today and Sunday will be dry.

Canadian Wildfire Smoke Is Here. Don’t expect anything as pronounced as the images from the East Coast, but Fox 4’s meteorologist reports that we will have a bit of a hazy few days. North Texas has been under an air quality warning for the last two days because of mold in the air.

On any given week, there can be dozens of meetings that impact how people live in Dallas. As news organizations struggle with resources, one program is working to put a resident in as many meetings as possible to document what happens during them.

The Dallas Documenters program launched early this year. It aims to train and deploy community members who take accurate notes at city and school board meetings that are often missed by media. Dr. Marta Torres, the program manager, says the mission is “to make sure communities have eyes and ears at as many public meetings as possible.”

They’ve started first in South Dallas and West Dallas—the two main focus areas of the Dallas Free Press, the nonprofit media outlet that brought the program to Dallas. Torres says starting in these communities is intentional.

“We are looking to recruit, train and pay citizens and community members of South Dallas and West Dallas, the two neighborhoods Dallas Free Press calls home, and hope to create partnerships with more neighborhoods that historically have been left out of public processes in Dallas,” she says.

Short-term rental services such as Airbnb and Vrbo are a hot topic in Dallas at the moment due to the noise, traffic, and crime they can produce. The Dallas City Council is expected to vote on regulations or a ban in residential neighborhoods at its June 14 meeting, bringing a nearly four-year process to an end.

But one short-term rental site may be less familiar. Since its appearance on Shark Tank, in March 2020, Swimply has taken off. Co-owner Bunim Laskin began his foray into the amenity rental platform business when he noticed his New Jersey neighbors rarely used their swimming pool and asked if he could rent it for his 12 siblings for a day. His site now allows hosts to rent out all their amenities—pools, home gyms, tennis courts—for an hourly rate. Dallas currently has more than 300 listings on the site. 

Ah, but here’s the rub: renting out your swimming pool has always been prohibited in the city. According to Dallas City Code Sec. 51A-4.217, “No private swimming pool may be operated as a business, except that private swimming lessons may be given under the home occupation use.” So you can bring in a professional swim coach, but renting out your pool is verboten. 

Arlington Police Wade Into Dispute Between Diocese and Carmelite Nuns. The Arlington Police Department said Wednesday that it is trying to determine if any criminal offenses happened during the weekslong dispute between the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Arlington. Bishop Michael Olsen reportedly dismissed Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach after she allegedly broke her vow of chastity, but the monastery and the attorney for the nun are suing, saying the religious order does not answer to the Diocese and that Olson took Gerlach’s property unlawfully during his investigation.

New Software Pauses Public Access to Court Documents. A switch to new software has apparently slowed or even stopped public access to court records in Dallas County. Defense attorneys report that they cannot access records that should have been uploaded after May 17, including indictments, witness lists, and bond information. Dallas County District Clerk Felicia Pitre says that the process of moving from one case management system to another has slowed as the county determines whether documents that may have been sealed by the courts were inadvertently unsealed in the process. 

Abbott Signs Bills Related to Methodist Dallas Shooting. Gov. Greg Abbott signed two bills into law this week that were filed in response to the shooting deaths of two Methodist Dallas Medical Center employees last fall. Senate Bill 1004 makes tampering with an ankle monitor a state felony, while SB 840 (sponsored by state Sen. Royce West and state Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas) would increase the penalties for harming hospital workers. Nestor Hernandez reportedly had six different ankle monitor violations prior to October, when he allegedly shot Jacqueline Pokuaa and Katie “Annette” Flowers while visiting his girlfriend at the hospital.

Fire Damages West Dallas Church. A fire that damaged the Dallas Indian Revival Center in West Dallas Wednesday afternoon is believed to be accidental, Dallas Fire-Rescue said. Workers on the roof of the church were able to escape uninjured after combustible materials caught fire from a torch one of them was using. The building was severely damaged in the blaze, which took about an hour and a half to extinguish.


The Rangers Bet Big on an Outlier. Now Jacob deGrom Must Become One Again.

Mike Piellucci
By |
Jacob deGrom faces a long spell on the sidelines. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There has never been anyone like Jacob deGrom, which begins to explain why the idea of signing a 34-year-old inveterate visitor to the injury list was so intoxicating. From 2020 through 2022, deGrom hurt his neck, his hamstring, his side, his elbow, his shoulder, his forearm, his shoulder again. His first notable development in a Ranger uniform was a wrist injury. The next one figures to be postponed for at least a calendar year now that he’s torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow—the traditional precursor to Tommy John surgery—for the second time in his career.  

But there is also the hellraising fastball, with 98.7 mph of average velocity, a number most relievers strain to hit, let alone seven-inning starting pitchers. And that 91.8-mph slider, how it turns and torqued, a fighter jet on the attack.

No starter has paired two offerings quite like those together, and deGrom rode the liveliest arsenal in baseball to numbers from the game’s dead-ball era. Only a handful have matched his dominance. The career 2.53 ERA. The preposterous 95-start streak with a 1.95 ERA. The magical 2018 season, when his 1.70 ERA was the second-lowest number for a league ERA champion since Greg Maddux at his apex. The third-best strikeout rate in baseball history among starting pitchers, without the wildness that tends to accompany it.

The Rangers have waited their entire existence for an ace like that. Not Nolan Ryan in his surprisingly radiant golden years, nor Cliff Lee’s four-month cameo, nor flawed demigods like Yu Darvish and Ferguson Jenkins, but an era-defining pitcher to call their own. Never mind that, knowing what we do about baseball, the brilliance was breaking him. Arms are not built to withstand throwing a baseball this hard, this often, with this much action—not even a reconstructed one like deGrom’s. Then again, arms aren’t supposed to be able to do the things deGrom’s can in the first place.

There is no question that I have worn shorts and flip-flops to work. So aspersions are the last thing I wish to cast when it comes to workplace fashion. But I’m also not the mayor of the ninth-largest city in America. Let’s have a look.

Mayor Eric Johnson is showing some BDE. A few weeks ago, he wore leather to a City Council meeting. Now my guy has attended a Citizens Council gig in sneakers. And without socks!

The other guy in that pic, by the way, is Grant Moise, CEO of the Dallas Morning News. He’s fully socked, you’ll notice.

Someone has to do journalism. You’re welcome.

Arts & Entertainment

The Ambition of the Upcoming National Juneteenth Museum in Fort Worth

<strong>Garrett Tarango</strong>
By |
National Juneteenth Museum exterior
The gabled roof will mimic the style of shotgun houses in the neighborhood. Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group and KAI Enterprises

Sitting in the living room of Opal Lee’s Fort Worth home, I count three people who walk in unannounced during the course of my interview. The thought of neighbors entering your home without an invitation may be unsettling, but Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” has dedicated her entire life to welcoming in others. Dione Sims, Lee’s granddaughter, puts it best: “I think her lifelong passion is to make sure that everybody in the world is taken care of.” 

Continuing the story of Lee and the holiday she made federal, members of the National Juneteenth Museum board recently broke ground for their new complex, which is scheduled to open on June 19, 2025. Not only will it educate visitors about the history of Juneteenth, but it will also serve as an economic engine to boost the surrounding Historic Southside neighborhood of Fort Worth. 

Designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, the 50,000-square-foot facility will sit on land previously occupied by the old Juneteenth Museum, a one-story house that was lost to a fire in January, on the corner of East Rosedale Street and Evans Avenue. Its gabled roof will mimic those of the shotgun-style houses in the neighborhood, and its signature design feature will be an open courtyard at its center, around which the roofing will undulate.

When viewed from overhead, the inside tips of the gables will form the outline of a 12-point star, also known as a nova or “new” star. In the middle of the courtyard there will be a five-point star engraved into terrazzo pavement. The two stars combined form the centerpiece of the Juneteenth flag. 

Person of Interest

Meet Latricia Trammell, the New Dallas Wings Head Coach

Tim Rogers
By |
Latricia Trammell WNBA
You can expect to see Trammell sporting Jordan 1s this season with the Dallas Sparks. Trevor Paulhus

Latricia Trammell only needed 30 years to become a head coach in the WNBA, starting in the high school ranks and working her way up. The Oklahoma native did stints at Denton’s Billy Ryan High School, at UNT, and at TWU. At Oklahoma City University, she won back-to-back NAIA national championships in 2014 and 2015. And now, after serving as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Stars and the Los Angeles Sparks, she leads the Dallas Wings into a season of high expectations.

Who are the first three people who come to mind who don’t call you Coach? Oh, my goodness. Well, when my parents were living, my mom and dad. I’ll just say my family members. It’s kind of funny you ask that, because if they came to a game or a practice, then they actually would always call me Coach.

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