A Daily Conversation About Dallas

Real Estate

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Dallas Real Estate Market

| 16 hours ago

A few months back, I asked Joe Guinto (a former national affairs correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily) to do some research on our local residential real estate market, with an eye toward writing a feature in the September issue of D Magazine. After making some calls, Joe reported back: “This is the weirdest real estate market ever.” I told him, “Thanks, Joe. You just wrote my headline for me.”

It’s true, though. With interest rates at historic lows and with people scrambling to find houses that better accommodate working from home and prolonged isolation, the market has been, um, active to say the least. Joe’s story went online today. Along with it, we took a look at neighborhoods where prices have gone up and where they’ve taken a dive. Plus we tracked down some listings that might surprise you on both ends of the affordability scale.

Here’s hoping you’ve got the perfect deck to enjoy this fall weather and have already ordered some firewood for the cooler months ahead.

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Philanthropy & Nonprofits

North Texas Giving Day Is Off To a Great Start, But It Needs Your Help More Than Ever

| 18 hours ago

North Texas nonprofits have had a year like no other. The pandemic increased need and demand to unprecedented levels. It decimated the volunteer force and disrupted in-person fundraising efforts that so many rely on. The call for help was so urgent that North Texas Giving Day, which normally holds its center-stage charity event in September, collaborated with United Way Metropolitan Dallas and the Dallas Cowboys to create an emergency day of donations on May 5.

But today is the main event, the annual region-wide fundraiser that last year generated a record $50 million for about 3,000 nonprofits. Organizers have the ambitious goal of topping that number again, despite the unique nature of this year’s edition.

North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online donation initiative that marshals a large network of nonprofits and connects them to individual donors. The effort is led by Communities Foundation of Texas and seeks to engage communities in causes that are relevant to them, from grassroots movements to larger operations like the Salvation Army. (Full disclosure, D editor Tim Rogers’ wife, Christine, handles its PR.)

This year, of course, North Texas Giving Day looks a little different. About 24 percent of participating nonprofits are new to the event. That’s 787 additional organizations. There are new search filters, which allow donors to locate nonprofits led by Black, Latinx, indigenous, or people of color, a response to the social justice reforms called for in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

The online portal is nothing new, but the marketing approach has always involved in-person events. This year, in light of social distancing measures, that can’t happen. So the organization got creative.

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Politics & Government

American Airlines Center Will Be Open For Early Voting and Election Day

| 19 hours ago

In a move that should have happened years ago, the American Airlines Center will be a voting supercenter both for early voting (Oct. 13–30) and Election Day (Nov. 3).  Some dates you should be aware of:

  • Deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Monday, Oct. 5
  • Deadline to register in person to vote is Monday, Oct. 5
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Friday, Oct. 23

OK, I know the comments are going to be full of our usual band of dubious brothers talking about voter fraud. 1) ignore that 2) VOTE

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Is Dallas Ready for the Stanley Cup Finals?

| 19 hours ago

Hey Dallas! Your Dallas Stars are in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Let that sink in for a minute. It hasn’t really sunk in for me yet. I blame it on the bubble, the weird out-of-sync timing of this year’s NHL playoffs, the lack of home games, rowdy fans, crowded bars, and all the usual trappings that mark a sports team’s journey all the way through to the season’s final showdown.

Our internal seasonal sports clocks are set to expect nothing but Cowboys chatter this time of year. Instead, the Stars clinched their spot in the Stanley Cup Final nearly a year to the day after they arrived at training camp in 2019 to begin preparing for what turned out to be an epic and bizarre 2019-2020 season.

This year is different; we all know that all too well by now. But let’s not allow that to make us lose sight of what the Stars have managed to pull off—and what they hope to bring to fruition with four more wins. It has been two decades since Dallas competed for the Stanley Cup. The last time was on the ice at Reunion Arena, which today is an empty field in a forgotten corner of downtown. Now they will try once again, only in Edmonton, Alberta. And the journey to get there has been nothing short of extraordinary.

In many ways, what the Stars have already accomplished outpaces the achievements of most sports teams in this city’s history. Don’t believe me? Have you missed it? Has the Stars’ sudden surge towards glory blindsided you? Then, let’s walk through some of the top storylines of the Stars’ incredible ride.

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Local News

Leading Off (9/17/20)

| 1 day ago

Hurricane Laura Evacuees Head to Dallas. Around 5,000 evacuees from the Texas coast are expected to arrive today, and the plan is for 2,000 or so to be housed at the state’s expense in three downtown Dallas hotels: the Hilton Anatole Hotel, Crowne Plaza, and Hyatt Regency. Rocky Vaz, director of Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, says he had hoped to have more time to make arrangements and to better stagger check-ins, but he says they are “dealing with it.” The state is covering the cost of three meals per day for the evacuees, but the city will be providing snacks, diapers, counseling services at Parkland, and other necessities for what is estimated to be a two-week stay. Welcome, y’all.

Don’t Reach Blindly Into Your Trash Can. There May Be a Rabid Bat. My wife was bit by a rabid bat while we lived in Ohio when she reached into our bathroom trashcan to empty it. She then ran screaming down three flights of stairs (we lived in an old Victorian with a converted attic) and straight out the front door. We both had to get shots, which was surprisingly difficult to do because all of the rabies vaccines in town had just been used up by The Ohio State University veterinary school after the students had managed to dissect a rabid horse. (The shots don’t hurt as bad as you might’ve heard, but there are a lot of them.) I am sharing all of this as a public service announcement because a rabid bat was found dead in Plano near West 15th Street and Custer Road. If you find a bat near the ground, it is not a good thing. Don’t touch it.

There Is Too Much Tragic News About Children. Sex trafficking is real, and you don’t need to waste your time on idiotic conspiracy theories to find and stop it. Just pay attention to what’s in front of you. If you see a young boy without pants taken into a hotel room by three random grown men, for goodness sake call the police. And if anyone you know is getting overly frustrated with the children in their care, please, please, please reach out for help before it is too late. Call the Texas child abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

Dallas County Reports Six New COVID-19 Deaths and 311 New Cases. That brings the total death toll for the eight-county region to 2,000. Dallas County is also reporting that 15 percent of all new September cases have been in young adults 18 to 22 years old, the highest percentage for that age group since the beginning of the pandemic. The hardest hit zip codes continue to be 75211 and 75217.

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Restaurant & Bar Updates

No! The Old Monk Will NOT Reopen Quietly!

| 2 days ago

BREAKING: Today at 3, the Old Monk reopened, exactly six months after the day it closed in response to the pandemic. Well, there was a brief reopening awhile back. That lasted two weeks. Then a member of the staff came down with COVID-19, and the Monk closed again. So we are just going to keep things simple and go with six months.

What has the crew been doing these past six months? I texted that hard-hitting question to owner Feargal McKinney, the finest Irishman in all of East Dallas. His response: “Staff look like they have been working out, living healthy, and getting tattoos.”

I asked him a follow-up question: “Would you have gone for it on fourth down?”

Feargal’s answer: “Not good with sports analogies.” Time passed. He updated his response: “Just got clarity on football question. Would have gone for it. So I guess I was not watching football for last six months.”

He also added: “I’d prefer not to be on record or quoted, just want to open quietly.”

NO! You know what else, Feargal? Hell no!

The Monk is open, people. Let there be rejoicing. This might be where 2020 turns around. Here’s the full release that was emailed just a few minutes before 3 p.m.:

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Sports & Leisure

Luka Doncic Named to First Team All-NBA

| 2 days ago

I was a little bit worried that some position-related chicanery might somehow bump him to the second team in favor of someone like Kawhi Leonard, but today it became official: Luka Doncic was named to the All-NBA first team, joined by LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and Anthony Davis. He’s only the second Maverick to make the first team (the other rhymes with “Smirk Smowitzki”) and just the third to be named to any of the three All-NBA squads (Steve Nash made the third team a couple of times before leaving).

Here is a look at the season that earned him the honor.

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Dallas History

The Amateur Sleuths Who Found a Missing Piece of Dallas History

| 2 days ago

In the Lowest Greenville area, between Lakewood Heights and Vickery Place, there is a little neighborhood called Belmont. The accepted history for many years has been that the neighborhood got its name from August Belmont Jr., a prominent New York financier and the son of the man who founded the Belmont Stakes. The accepted history has been wrong.

Awhile back, a couple that owns a 100-year-old Craftsman in the neighborhood began researching the history of their house. Geyden and Barry Sage found far more than they were looking for. I love stories like these, pieces of our history that lie at our feet as we walk past them every day without noticing. So of course I wanted to publish it, especially when Geyden showed me all the cool early 1900s ads for the Belmont Addition that ran in the Dallas Morning News.

Thanks to the Sages’ doggedness, the Belmont Addition Conservation District has (quietly) updated its official history, and the September issue of D Magazine contains a fascinating story about the city’s history. That story went online today. Discover the truth for yourself.

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Michael Waters Helps You Talk To Your Kids About Police Violence

| 2 days ago

The first children’s book by the Rev. Dr. Michael Waters, senior pastor at Dallas’ Abundant Life AME Church, feels like it might have been written over the past few months, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in May and the protests it inspired. It wasn’t. Unfortunately, For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World (illustrated by Keisha Morris), is as timely now as it was when Waters wrote it a couple of years ago, and it would have been just as timely in the years and decades before that.

The story—a mother and father trying to talk to their little boy about gun violence and racially motivated killings, inspired by the author’s own son Jeremiah—hasn’t stopped being relevant. But the message in it, the better world it believes in, will hopefully one day make it obsolete, something that will make those who happen upon it screw up their face in confusion that we ever let this happen.

But right now, it remains essential reading. For Beautiful Black Boys touches on the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Edwards, and more, but manages to end on a hopeful note, providing a gentle way of broaching the topic with kids. For more help, the book includes a discussion guide put together by Louisville’s Muhammad Ali Center.

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Local News

UNT Dallas Has More Students Than Ever

| 2 days ago

Schools all over are reporting lower enrollments, mostly because of the pandemic and pandemic-related issues. But UNT Dallas—both at its southern Dallas campus and its downtown law school—are getting more students, with an increase of 4 percent in undergraduates and 3 percent at  UNT Dallas College of Law. (Maybe because more students have decided to stay near home because of everything that’s happening? Fully a guess. I’m no longer a professional researcher.)

For UNT Dallas, that means 4,171 students this fall, a new record for the school.

And it’s not just more students. UNT Dallas is also moving up in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. In the Best Regional Universities West Rankings, UNTD is up to No. 60 overall and No. 28 in Top Public Schools.

Good for southern Dallas. Good for downtown.

Here’s the release:

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Local News

Leading Off (9/16/20)

| 2 days ago

Legal Tangle Creates Election Headache. First, a lower court ruled that Green Party candidates shouldn’t be on the November ballot because they didn’t pay fees required by a new (and contested) 2019 state regulation. Then, the Texas Supreme Court overturned that decision, ruling that the Greens should be on the ballot. Texas Democrats are upset, just as Texas Republicans were upset when the Texas Supreme Court made a similar decision regarding Libertarian candidates earlier this month. But here’s the real issue: the court’s decision means state election officials must reprint all of the ballots for November’s election in time to meet Saturday’s deadline to mail ballots to overseas and military voters.

Police Hunt For Suspects in ATM Killing. Jose Montes, 28, was a new father of a 5-month-old boy when he was shot and killed during an ATM robbery Monday. The gunman was wearing a jacket with the word “police” on the back and fled in a white Volkswagen Passat driven by a woman. Police are interviewing someone connected to the case, but Montes’ family is pleading for anyone with information about the murder to come forward.

Today’s COVID Numbers. Are actually not all today’s COVID numbers. Dallas County reported 190 new cases, but 68 were from previous months thanks to the state’s botched reporting system. How bad have Texas’ reporting backlogs been? The Houston Chronicle writes that Texas hasn’t reported an accurate positivity rate since July and that cases have likely been on the decline since then. Meanwhile, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the best number we have to go on is the provisional seven-day average of daily new cases. For what it is worth, that number is 243. There were also five new deaths in Collin County and three in Dallas County. In short, the data is a nightmare. Wear a mask. It’s working.

The World Series Is Coming to Texas. This is how sports works in 2020. The Dallas Stars are about to play in their first Stanley Cup Final since 1999, but they are in the NHL “bubble” in Edmonton and no fans will be allowed to attend. The Texas Rangers are enjoying a particularly forgettable season, but the World Series will be played at their brand new Globe Life Field as part of MLB’s own postseason bubble plans, and fans may be allowed to attend. With any luck Yu Darvish will be on the mound.

Stars Must Wait on Stanley Cup Competition. Last night, the New York Islanders scored a double overtime stunner to keep their season alive — and postpone the start of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals. If you are a Stars fan — or if you are ready to jump on the bandwagon of one of the most exciting local sports stories in recent memory — I’ll give you two good reasons to hope the Islanders pull off a miraculous comeback against the Tampa Bay Lightning. One: a longer series means fresher legs for the Stars. Two: I’ve watched every second of the Islanders’ own remarkable playoff run, and I can tell you they’re a really good, dynamic, exciting team that will give the Stars a run for their money. But holy crap, the Lightning are scary good. Victor Hedman may already be haunting Jamie Benn’s nightmares.

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