Finding a Safe Space for Dallas' Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Categories: Housing

Roughly 3,400 Dallas ISD students are homeless. Hundreds of these are LGBTQ teenagers.
When they come out, gay teens must often deal with unsupportive, even hostile parents. Sometimes, parents even go so far as to kick the kids out of their homes. If they attend a Dallas ISD school, they become one of the roughly 3,400 homeless students in the district. By some guesses, although it is impossible to put a definitive number to the group, hundreds of LGBTQ youth are homeless in Dallas.

See also: Why There Are 3,400 Homeless Students in Dallas ISD

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Surprise! Yellow Cab's New App Looks Just Like Uber's

Categories: Transportation

Uber, Curb and Lyft App Screenshots
Familial resemblance?
They've tried to beat them at the City Council, they're still trying to beat them with Michael Morris and the NCTCOG, now Yellow Cab is trying to join Uber and Lyft by offering an app that consumers might actually want to use.

See also: Vonciel Hill and Michael Morris Join Forces and Seek Delay on Car-Service Regulations

As you can see, Yellow Cab's newly rechristened Curb app is what would happen if Uber's app was skinned with its competitor Lyft's color scheme. Functionally, Curb seems to behave similarly to Uber's and Lyft's apps as well, down to the referral bonuses. You pinpoint your location with your smartphone's GPS and a cab is dispatched to you. Curb relies on Yellow Cab dispatchers, which means your cab will take anywhere between five minutes and six years to arrive.

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Deja Vu All Over Again: The Cowboys Are Back!

Categories: Sports

Nicole Cordeiro
The Church of False Hope
Unfair Park certainly hopes it isn't a mirage, that the Titans, Rams and Saints aren't just bad. We really want to believe that the Cowboys victories the last three weeks are a sign of positive things to come.

But we've been down this road before. We've had our expectations soar, only to come crashing to earth. We're not saying that's going to happen this time, but just to spare us a little heartbreak down the road, we thought we'd take a look, through the eyes of the Morning News' venerable Tim Cowlishaw, at the 'Boys biggest moment of hope so far this season, alongside high water marks of the previous three 8-8 seasons.

2014 (so far) -- September 28

Behind a dominant performance from the team's offensive line, the Cowboys blew out the Saints 38-17. It was a cathartic win, as the Cowboys suffered through the worst defensive performance in team history in 2013's 49-17 loss to the Saints in New Orleans.

What Cowlishaw said:

Weekly NFL viewing teaches us to be numb to the great surprise. And then there was this.

It was just last November that the Saints set an NFL record with 40 first downs and rolled to 625 total yards -- most ever against a Dallas defense -- in a 49-17 New Orleans rout of the Cowboys. Sure, this is a new season and things change quickly but ...

This much change? This quickly?

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What Are We So Afraid of? Besides Breasts, Books, Cops, Terrorists and Basically Everything.

Categories: Schutze

Breasts! Breasts!

Old hippie, nanny-state, fault-finding, problem-centric, negative-minded, knee-jerk liberals -- and I speak only of myself -- were quick enough to jump all over Highland Park school district last week for banning seven books from the high school curriculum. Now I guess we're under some kind of obligation to come back and give them a thumbs-up for admitting a mistake and reversing the decision.

See also: Park Cities Kids Are Already Rich

The books are back on the rich kids' reading lists pending a formal review. HPISD Superintendent Dawson Orr is quoted in today's daily paper saying: "I made the decision in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict, and I readily admit that it had the opposite effect."

So, uh ... thumbs up! There. I think that takes care of that.

But ... you knew there was a but in here somewhere, right? ... two more things in today's daily do merit discussion, I think. And I'm not trying to chisel on the thumbs-up, really. If anything, a long view of the agonies of Highland Park on this issue would have to include some recognition that parents everywhere have a right and an absolute duty to defend their kids against the worst of popular culture.

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Any Developer Proposing Apartments in Preston Hollow Should Brace for a Howl of Stupidity

Categories: Neighborhoods

Thumbnail image for HighlandHouseRender.jpg
The Crosland Group
Highland House
Somewhere in Preston Hollow, Laura Miller is wiping clean the dagger with which she eviscerated two proposed apartment developments at Preston Road and Northwest Highway. Developer Luke Crosland has officially abandoned plans for Highland House, a 27-story high-rise he wanted to build behind Hopdoddy in Preston Center. On the northeast corner meanwhile, Transwestern's shrinking plans for its luxury apartment development -- it started at eight stories, was reduced to six, and finally came down to four in a failed attempt to placate neighbors -- led some would-be property sellers on Townhouse Row to walk away from the proposed deal.

Some cheer the demise of the two projects as a victory of neighborhood values. Others lament it as a lost opportunity to intelligently increase density and grow the city's tax base. I'll have a deeper exploration of that debate when the cover story I'm working on goes to press in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, it seemed worthwhile (or at the very least entertaining in an afflicting-the-comfortable kind of way) to share some of the more ludicrous comments Preston Hollow homeowners offered -- on paper, in City Hall's official zoning file no less -- in opposition to the two projects.

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How a Mall Fight Led to Courtroom Drama, a Prosecutor Quitting and an Alleged Cover-Up

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Craig_Watkins_061910.jpg
Prosecutor Dodds quit and accused District Attorney Craig Watkins of playing politics.
It started out as a case that wasn't very dramatic or high-profile. Latoya Scott, a 26-year-old woman, was arrested by the Irving Police Department for an alleged fight at a mall. Prosecutors said Scott hit and scratched a woman she was dating. She was charged with family violence assault, a felony a Class A misdemeanor.

But now that assault case has turned into the minor backdrop for another fight, a weird feud between the county attorneys on the case and the judge overseeing it. Rebecca Dodds, the former chief of the misdemeanor division in the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the main prosecutor on Scott's case, insisted that Scott pleaded guilty to the assault charge back in April. But Judge Elizabeth Frizell said that wasn't true and tried to hold a jury trial for Scott on September 2.

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A Eulogy for the 2014 Texas Rangers

Categories: Sports

We're here not to praise the 2014 Rangers, but to bury them.
The signs were there on opening day. Tanner Scheppers, the Rangers' starting pitcher, was making his first major league start, not because he'd stated a case that he deserved to start the first game of the season, but because of injury. The bullpen, similarly beset by injuries, would melt down in spectacular fashion, giving up seven runs in a 14-10 loss to the Phillies. It was a sloppy, interminable game and would prove microcosmic.

The team would hold on for a while, riding good luck and great pitching from Yu Darvish and Martin Perez until near the end of the season's first month. The season would crest on April 23. Perez three-hit the A's on a Wednesday afternoon, finishing a three-game road sweep and giving his club a half-game lead in the American League West. It was Perez's second consecutive shutout, fourth consecutive quality start and the Rangers' fifth straight win in a game he started. The team would not win another of Perez's starts and by May 10 the 23-year-old lefty would be, like his team, done for the year. Perez needed Tommy John surgery to fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament, the Rangers lost to the Red Sox and fell into fourth place.

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How Do We Determine What Books Are and Are Not Appropriate For Kids?

Joe Crawford
Should parents have a say in what classroom books their kids read? Actually, probably not.

Highland Park ISD announced at the end of last week that it would be suspending seven books from the high school reading list: Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, David K. Shipler's The Working Poor: Invisible in America and Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle.

See also: Highland Park ISD Bans Books Because Sex

The books were removed after parents decried the books over the last several months. Many object to the books on the grounds that they are not age-appropriate for high school kids. In a letter sent out to parents in May, HPHS Principal Walter Kelly defended the selections, saying the school works to "meet the developmentally appropriate balance of challenging our students' thinking while upholding community values and standards." Now, it seems the district is more anxious to brush the controversial selections under the rug, rather than defend them to angry parents.

Still, the books' inclusion in school curriculum raises the question: How do teachers, parents, publishers, writers, and students determine whether or not a book is "developmentally appropriate?"

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Jerry Jones Lawyers Deny Sexual Assault Allegations at Hearing

Frank Hoover via Twitter
The lawyer for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appeared in a Dallas courtroom Friday to argue that a lawsuit accusing Jones of sexual assault -- and the Cowboys of conspiracy to cover it up -- should be dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

Attorney Gregory Shamoun also said the claims made against Jones earlier this month were lies.

Jones never assaulted Jana Weckerly in June 2009, Shamoun said, so there could not have been a conspiracy between Jones, the Cowboys and Jones' longtime attorney -- and co-defendant in this case -- Levi McCathern.

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Texans Think They Can Solve Traffic With Retimed Traffic Lights

Categories: Transportation

Jack Keene
If only the traffic lights weren't mistimed.
Breathe easy, Texas. Your long-term transportation needs -- the one lawmakers and policy experts have been fretting about for years -- have officially been solved. The masses, in their wisdom, which the Texas Transportation Institute has distilled in a just-published survey, have settled on a sure-fire way to address the state's congestion issues: Texas needs to do a better job of timing stop lights.

Tweaking traffic signals wasn't the only congestion cure respondents overwhelmingly endorsed. Their second favorite was "doing a better job of managing accidents."

Such results underscore a fundamental challenge in dealing with Texas' transportation needs in a meaningful way. Voters are in favor of solutions only so long as they involve no inconvenience and don't cost anything.

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