What Do Plano Christians Have Against Veterans?

Categories: Buzz

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MarineCorps NewYork/Flickr
Why on Earth would anyone want to discriminate against these guys?
Buzz is rarely shocked, but we must say we're taken aback by Plano Citizens United, the Texas Pastors Council and assorted fellow travelers such as the right-wing Texas Liberty Institute. It never occurred to us that they had it in for military service members and veterans.

We could be wrong, of course, but we assume it's military veterans they were talking about today as Plano Citizens United announced it had collected enough signatures to force a public vote in May on the Plano City Council's recently enacted equal rights policy. That ordinance extended anti-discrimination protections in housing, public accommodations and employment to military members and veterans ... among other groups whose names escape us at the moment.

"We applaud the citizens of Plano for collecting over 7,000 signatures to repeal this unlawful and unconstitutional ordinance that threatens religious liberty," Jeff Mateer, Liberty Institute general counsel, said in a news release. "We are glad the voice of Plano citizens will finally be heard on this important religious liberty issue."

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Ebola, Chikungunya, Jerry Jones and the Other Dick Pic Guy: Looking Back Sickly at 2014

Categories: Buzz

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Greg Houston
It's that time of year when Buzz gives the real reporters a break and takes a look at the top stories of the past 12 months. This year, we're changing things up a bit and offering recognition to the many unsung heroes and events that made the year memorable -- at least until December 31, when we plan to drink enough to kill any memories of the year along with any wayward viruses. Because if 2014 taught us one thing, it's that if you don't have your health, you always have an endless variety of beer.

Unfair Park also will be taking a couple of days off, which we will busily spend knocking over crèches, plugging chimneys, shouting "happy HOLIDAYS dammit" and generally doing our part in the media's war on Christmas. On the off chance we lose the war -- again -- we hope you have a happy one. See you Friday.

The Mark Zuckerberg Prize for Medical Science
Social media

The story was tragic and horrifying. Thomas Eric Duncan, an African man who came to Dallas from Liberia, dies of Ebola in October after medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital at first misdiagnose his illness. The Presby staff work courageously to save him as federal and state officials leap to action, urging Dallas to remain calm despite the crazy leaping and teams of doctors jetting in from Atlanta. Soon, when two nurses treating Duncan also contract the disease (they survive), the city's mood teeters on a knife's edge.

But hard facts, free-flowing information and solid advice are the cure for fear, and that's why we salute you, the watchdogs of the Internet, for keeping an anxious public loaded with up-to-the-minute information on the science of infectious diseases. Where would we be without your ceaseless typing and unique depth of knowledge?

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Black Helicopters over Dallas Don't Scare Us Because We Love America So Damn Much

Categories: Buzz

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Men in Black
Not helicopters. Swamp gas. Got it.
To be fair, the Dallas Police Department's media unit did send us a press release last week informing us that "North Texas police departments are providing support for an urban training exercise at various unspecified sites." U.S. special operations forces need realistic urban settings for preparedness training, they said, because Kandahar resembles Dallas in so many ways.

Sadly, the release didn't mention any fleets of black helicopters buzzing overhead, otherwise we wouldn't have filed and forgotten it. Instead, we learned about the helicopters from Twitter, from two local journalists. "A search of 'helicopters' & 'Dallas' make it clear that 7 or 8 #blackedout stealth-style helicopters have been buzzing down/uptown," Daniel Rodrigue, a local journalism teacher and sometimes Observer-er Tweeted.

Well, not when we searched. And when we checked out #blackedout we didn't see any helicopters either, though there was an image of a young woman being "blackedout," we suppose, if that's a porn thing. You probably shouldn't look at it on your work computer.\

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Dallas Homeowners' Association Turned Off Man's Sprinklers, Threatened Gunplay, According to Strange Lawsuit

Categories: Buzz, Housing

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Bonita de Boer
Beneath Turtle Creek's placid surface, tension, anger and turned off sprinklers.
At a condominium near Turtle Creek, there is a bitter, strange battle brewing between the building's homeowners' association and the domestic partner of one of the HOA's members. In January, the 3081 Gilbert Homeowners' Association felt so threatened by the man, they filed a lawsuit.

The court filings start out innocently enough, if a bit snooty. The couple lived together in a condo on Gilbert Avenue for years, but only one of the men is listed as owning the property, the HOA explains in its petition, reducing his partner to undesirable non-HOA member status: "Ken Ray is not an owner of [the unit] under current Texas law and is, therefore, not a member of the Association."

That wouldn't be an issue, according to the petition the HOA filed, if the non-member resident in question wasn't going around being a jerk to all the legitimate HOA members: "Ken Ray ... has no right to challenge the actions of the Board."


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Dear Arlington Martin Parents: Rape Jokes Are Bad. Please Pay Attention.

Categories: Buzz

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dear Arlington Martin High School Parents: Your children are sneaky, conniving savages. They have the morals and senses of humor of ... well ... pirates, and will, if you so much as blink, do their best to make you -- adults -- look like fools.

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Sailing on the Trinity Lakes? Oh, Boy, Who Ever Thought It Possible?

Categories: Buzz

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They're tough to see, but teeny white dots could be boats on the lake, or big birds, or maybe flotillas of plastic bags. Hard to say.
Stephen Young told you earlier about the latest renderings of plans lakes along the Trinity River near downtown in a post that seemed just a bit doubtful. "Impossible Fever Dream," he called them.

It's sad, really. Stephen is a young man, and already he expresses such cynicism toward City Hall. Not Buzz, though. We've spent a few fun hours playing around with some of the conceptual photos in the Trinity Lakes Amenities Design Plan, and we must say, we're pretty darned excited.

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Rick Perry Wisely Strikes Back with Video Targeting Travis County DA

Categories: Buzz

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That image you see above is of a surprising email that just hit my (and probably yours) inbox from RickPac, Governor Rick Perry's federal political action committee.

The surprising part isn't that Perry's PAC is using his recent indictment to solicit contributions. All's fair ... when life gives you lemons ... etc. In fact, one wonders what took his people so long to throw this together. The indictment came down Friday, and here it is Tuesday already. Did someone have weekend plans?

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DISD Wants in the News Reporting Biz? That's Like Letting Us Look After Your Kids.

Categories: Buzz

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Government + education + news media. Why didn't anyone think of this before?
Dallas Independent School District has some important things to tell you, stuff that doesn't get reported in the regular old media, so the district is looking at getting into the news media business, Superintendent Mike Miles said this week. Or we guess he said it. The Dallas Morning News said he did, but they're ... ugh ... old, private media. Who knows?

DISD spokesman André Riley, that's who. Buzz called him up to welcome him to the fold -- we media folk are famously collegial -- and to see if there were any tips we could give him. He said the district has just begun exploring how to expand its news offerings beyond the usual dry press releases and wants to maybe do more reporting and offer more information than standard news outlets have time or space for.

The district is very early in the process, he stressed, sounding a bit like a man who was handed a short-handled shovel last week and woke up today to find his employer had announced he was going to dig a canal.

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If We're Not Going to Reform Immigration, Let's Make It Fun

Categories: Buzz

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In 2006, hunters generated $2.63 billion in retail sales for their sport in Texas, paying nearly $284 million in state and local taxes and supporting more than 44,119 jobs, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That doesn't include the millions spent by birdwatchers, photographers and others who enjoy wildlife they don't kill.

A large chunk of money also goes to private landowners who sell hunting leases, providing revenue to farmers and ranchers, whose operations are being pinched by the same long drought that threatens the population of game animals.

This is a problem, obviously. But luckily Texas House candidate Tony Tinderholt has inspired Buzz to come up with a plan to harness Texans' love of sport and free enterprise, along with our basic nativism, in a way that everybody wins.

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Like Olympic Champs, Trinity Road Backers Will Never, Ever Quit Chasing the Gold

Categories: Buzz

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Let's make it interesting and combine two of Dallas' favorite pastimes -- pursuing the Olympics and arguing over the damn Trinity toll road. Old school style.
The U.S. Olympic Committee met yesterday, and one of the things reportedly on the agenda was which American city, maybe Dallas, will get to bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. It's a long, obscure, secretive convoluted competition -- sort of a modern bribery pentathlon -- and we're just excited as heck about the prospect.

No, not about the Olympics themselves. Jesus, who wants to boil in traffic for weeks so the world's best synchronized swimmers and table tennis players can duke it out for the gold in North Texas? We're excited because we can't wait to see how supporters of the Trinity toll road will use the Olympic bid to justify building that albatross -- untenable, unfunded and now unwanted by growing numbers of former supporters. The most recent was the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which last week said it is "unable to endorse" the current plan for the road until it knows more about the whole redevelopment plan around the river corridor, something that has been debated around here since about 1857.

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