A Daily Conversation
About Dallas


The Past Sins of Holy Trinity Seminary Continue to Haunt the Dallas Diocese

| 5 hours ago

As a Catholic, I was saddened but not surprised by the news over the weekend that another Dallas priest has been accused of molesting children. Parishioners at Oak Cliff’s St. Cecilia learned from Bishop Edward Burns himself that Edmundo Paredes, their pastor for 27 years, is under investigation for allegedly molesting boys. Paredes vanished last summer, after he admitted that he had stolen at least $60,000 from his church. Church officials think he might have returned to his native country of the Philippines.

I was not surprised by the news because, of course, we all just learned what happened in Pennsylvania. And also because I remember the Rudy Kos story. What the folks did at the Boston Globe was great work, but the Morning News’ Brooks Egerton beat them to the pedophile priest story by several years. In Dallas, the Kos story was the nadir for the diocese. Jurors here concluded that the diocese had been negligent and awarded nearly $120 million to 11 victims.

In 1998, D Magazine published a story titled “How Rudy Kos Happened,” written by Dan Michalski. Dan did some deep reporting on the culture at Holy Trinity Seminary, the Irving school that turns out priests. It’s hard to fathom what was going on there when Kos was a seminarian in the late ’70s. Sexual relationships among students were tolerated by the priests who were in charge. There was an infirmary in the basement where students hooked up with guys they brought back from bars on Cedar Springs. When he was there, Kos was at the center of it.

Which brings us back to Edmundo Paredes. Like Kos, he is a graduate of Holy Trinity Seminary. Kos was at the seminary from 1977 to 1981. Paredes was there, a diocesan spokesperson tells me, from 1981 to 1985. Many of the men under whose watch the abuse happened have escaped their just earthly reward. Let us pray that Paredes is caught and forced to confront his accusers. 

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Paving the $5 Billion Mile in Frisco

| 10 hours ago

Ask engaged North Texans to name the projects that make up the stretch formerly known as Frisco’s $5 Billion Mile and they’ll likely name The Star or Frisco Station. But the most under-the-radar site—The Gate—was actually the first purchased by developers on the stretch of Dallas North Tollway between Warren Parkway and Lebanon Road.

Before Invest Group Overseas, a division of Dubai-based Moafaq Al Gaddah Group, bought the 41 acres that would become known as The Gate in 2012, IGO CEO and Managing Partner Anas Kozbari couldn’t locate the city on a map.

“Frisco is a very encouraging market,” Kozbari says. “When we came in 2012, we bought the dirt, and I hired top-notch companies to do market research. I got a call from my chairman [Moafaq Ahmad Al Gaddah] who said, ‘Just buy the damn thing. I will use it to hunt squirrels, just stop doing all this research.’ So then I bought more, eventually getting to 40 acres.”

A year later, Jerry Jones said his Dallas Cowboys would build and relocate to a new headquarters called The Star, sparking a wildfire of development in the area. Unlike its neighbors, The Gate has managed to stay out of the press, remaining a mysterious project by foreign investors. (Kozbari declined to share details about the $800 million project’s financing, saying only: “We don’t owe anybody any penny.”) But soon, the project will be more noticeable as more vertical development gets underway.

As infrastructure throughout the development nears completion, IGO has turned its attention to putting up 17 buildings, including four offices totaling 854,000 square feet; an approximately 200-room boutique hotel; nearly 1,000 apartment units across seven buildings; 54,000 square feet of retail space; and an additional 47,500 square feet of food and beverage space. All 2.3 million square feet of forthcoming buildings will be centered around a water fountain and pond-like water feature.

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Local News

Leading Off (8/20/18)

| 12 hours ago

Lewisville Man Accused of Fatally Beating and Stabbing a Toddler Before Being Shot. He apparently was yelling “Jesus is coming.”

Dallas Diocese Suspends Reverend Edmundo Paredes After Sexual Abuse Allegations. The former pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church has been under investigation since February. The local SNAP chapter criticized the diocese for not telling parishoners until this weekend. Paredes also has admitted to financial misconduct. Also also, no one knows where he is.

Driver Arrested In Bar After Hitting Woman Riding a Share Bike. That happened late Saturday night in South Dallas. Earlier, in Lake Highlands, a driver hit and killed a woman crossing the street in a wheelchair, then fled the scene.

Body Found in Creek Near McCommas Bluff Preserve. It was badly decomposed.

FC Dallas Tops Minnesota. A very nice goal from Mikey Barrios helped FCD to the win — manager Oscar Pareja’s 100th — and sole ownership of the top spot in the Western Conference.

Dallas ISD is Back in School. My son is a freshman. Sweet christmas.

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Food Crime

Trevor Paulhus Is a Madman

| 3 days ago

D Magazine subscribers will this weekend receive the September issue in the mail. Really, you should join them. Here I’d like to reveal two important points about the cover image. The first is that Zac Crain is in the photo, and he’s wearing a shirt THAT IS YELLOW. The second important point: the great Trevor Paulhus took this picture for us. I think it was about 100 degrees on the morning of the shoot. Dude didn’t care. He flopped right down in the street in front of Tacos Mariachi, on Singleton Boulevard, to get the shot. Total American hero. 

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Frisco Is At The Center of the Latest Automated Vehicle Debate

| 3 days ago

In May, officials from the city of Frisco gathered alongside folks from Collin County, the state, and the California automated vehicle startup at developer Craig Hall’s HALL Park. It was a big to-do to introduce one of the country’s first pilot projects that would put driverless cars in public right-of-ways. It was so cautious it bordered on dull—the primary reason being, according to chairman Andrew Ng, that pedestrians need to get used to the new vehicles.

I wrote about this for the July issue, how the pilot is starting small. Ng focused on the abundance of caution: the highlighter-orange hue of the vehicles, the digital LED panels that can display messages, the driver sitting up front just in case. made it clear that pedestrians will need to be more aware when these things are in operation. He likened them to an ambulance or a school bus—you drive and walk differently around those vehicles. This week, Bloomberg used Ng’s philosophy to frame a piece about whether AI technology is actually where it needs to be if its shepherds have to ask pedestrians to change how they’re walking. Here’s Bloomberg:

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Continuing the Conversation About Sexism in Service

| 4 days ago

In the May issue of D Magazine, I ranked the 10 best steakhouses in Dallas.

In the July issue, I wrote a column titled “Animals in the House” with a revelation in the subhead: “How eating in 20 of the top steakhouses in Dallas gave me a bellyful of misogyny.”

The weeks I spent dining in 20 of our city’s steakhouses had given me insight no diner usually has—glimpses of patterns of behavior, subtle but insistent, that made me feel invisible and overlooked as a female in male temples of meat. As I sliced through dry-aged rib-eyes, I was seeing a culture. And it was making me ill.

That I could find such a glaring cultural phenomenon—even as it remained slippery and elusive—in a singular part of the dining landscape seemed worth illuminating. Particularly as it is one that this city—city of business meetings, city of great steaks— holds dear.

In a column published two weeks ago in the Dallas Observer, dining critic Brian Reinhardt took the next step in calling out discriminatory and problematic service. He argued that we shouldn’t be treating service separately in a review or ranking, and he took me to task. “Sexist service is bad service,” he wrote.

I agree.

But it’s not as clear as he makes it out to be.

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The One Aretha Franklin Remembrance You Need to Read

| 4 days ago

What’s Aretha Franklin have to do with Dallas? David Ritz. That’s what. He’s a Dallas guy, though he no longer lives here. Over the years, he has written a bunch of stuff for D Magazine. His most recent stories for us are here and here. David ghosted Franklin’s autobiography and then wrote his own biography of the woman. You should take the time to read this Rolling Stone piece he just published about his relationship with her. 

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Dallas ISD Is Surging, and Tonight’s Board Vote Can Propel It Further

| 4 days ago

The state’s new school district report cards were issued this week. As you probably read, Dallas ISD passed easily, earning a score of 81, a B. For comparison’s sake, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Mesquite all earned a C.

This is good news, but it shouldn’t surprise FrontBurner readers. I’ve been telling you for years that, despite the challenges faced by an enormous district whose students overwhelmingly suffer from various levels of poverty, the progressive changes made under Mike Miles and continued under Michael Hinojosa are helping poor kids do better. Specifically, the teacher evaluation system (TEI) and the program whereby the best teachers are given incentives to teach the most-needy kids (ACE) have proven successful.

Today, the Dallas ISD school board will meet to once again discuss putting to voters a Tax Ratification Election, or TRE. This is designed to give more taxpayer dollars to the district so it can continue and expand programs such as these. It should pass by a 6-3 margin at worst, because a sensible trustee, Justin Henry, has replaced a senseless trustee, Bernadette Nutall. (Three trustees—Audrey Pinkerton, Lew Blackburn, and Joyce Foreman—will continue making excuses and voting against measures that help black and brown kids.)

How impactful can TRE money be? Let me give you an example.

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