Gun Barrel City's Lone Gay Bar Was Targeted By Police, But Maybe Not Because it Was Gay

Categories: News

Saturday, April 5, was drag night at Garlow's, Gun Barrel City's one and only gay bar. It also happened to be the night when a half dozen or so of Gun Barrel City's finest showed up in the parking lot and began pulling over departing patrons for failing to use their turn signals.

"Basically, all that was was a fishing trip to see who's been drinking and who hasn't," bar owner Michael Slingerland tells Unfair Park, saying the bust was the culmination of a couple of months of a lighter police presence.

Gun Barrel City Police Chief Damon Boswell has not returned a call seeking comment, but Lone Star Q reports that four drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated.

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The Dallas Library Is Now Producing a Homeless-Person Podcast

Categories: News

Street View Podcast
Rashad Dickerson and Dallas Library Director Mary Jo Giudice
The Dallas Public Library has a fraught relationship with downtown's homeless population, on the one hand reluctantly accepting that they are members of the "public" the institution was built to serve, while simultaneously wishing they weren't.

So feel free to be deeply cynical about the library's new "Homeless Engagement Initiative," which launched last September. At least it's produced an intriguing podcast.

Yes, a podcast. The library has tapped local homeless dude Rashad Dickerson to host Street View, its just-launched series offering an on-the-ground view of life on the streets.

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Arlington Cops, Open-Carry Advocates Go Toe-to-Toe Over the Constitution

Categories: News

Arlington, like many other cities, has a law banning people from handing out leaflets, or anything else for that matter, to passing cars. To wit:

No person shall stand or walk on or in any manner occupy a shoulder, improved shoulder, sidewalk, median or public right-of-way for the purpose of distributing literature or any other object to the occupant of a vehicle, other than a lawfully parked vehicle.

Maybe you consider that an unfair abridgment of free speech, maybe not. Either way, municipalities have generally gotten away with it by claiming such rules are needed to protect public safety. In Arlington, the measure is enforced with a class C misdemeanor ticket, or at the very least the threat of one.

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84-Year-Old Oak Cliff Woman Says Her HOA Filed a Lien Against Her for Feeding Two Cats

Categories: News

Wedglea Place condominiums
Shirlee Perry doesn't get out much anymore. Eighty-four years old with ailing legs, going outside usually is too much of a challenge, so she spends her days mostly watching TV at her Oak Cliff condo and caring for the two semi-feral cats that were born near her back porch and now practically live there.

She used to leave food for the wildlife in the woods behind her condo, just like her neighbors did when she moved in 25 years ago, but her HOA, the Wedglea Place Owners Association, asked her to stop. She also agreed to quit leaving the cat food out overnight, an arrangement that lasted for a time. But when they recently told her to stop feeding the cats entirely, that was a bridge too far.

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Dallas Police Says It's Only Kind of to Blame for Yesterday's LBJ Traffic Nightmare

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for Trafficpocalypse.jpg
First off, we'd like to make a correction. Yesterday's report that the Trafficpocalypse was upon us was premature. Yesterday's bizarre configuration of vehicles stuck on LBJ did not augur a world-ending traffic jam. Commutes this morning were regular terrible, not apocalyptic.

What actually happened was that at least seven cars crashed into one another on eastbound I-635 near Audelia Road. (Police haven't provided a cause, but a witness told Unfair Park it was the fault of an erratic driver.) Traffic immediately backed way up, prompting some drivers near the front of the line to make a U-turn and begin navigating the wrong way down the freeway.

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LBJ Has Been Taken By the Trafficpocalypse

Categories: News

It's a shame, really, that Dallas never got to know what 635 is like without massive amounts of construction and with those groundbreaking TEXpress lanes fully operational. Alas, the freeway has fallen, overtaken by a traffic phenomenon completely unknown to science.

NBC 5 producer Ashley Lowell Doussard is tweeting photos of the freeway's final moments:

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Dallasite and Former Congressman Ed Foreman Really Loves Convicted Fraudster Kevin Trudeau

Categories: News

It's not impossible to see how voters, first in West Texas (1962), then in southern New Mexico (1968), might have decided to send Ed Foreman to Congress. He has a hypnotic stage presence and exudes a folksy charisma, complete with an endless supply of homespun anecdotes.

Also pretty easy to decipher is how he was unseated in both cases after just one term, and it's not that he was running as a Republican in traditionally Democratic districts. His charm is that of a snake-oil salesman; for many, perhaps most, his manic shtick would wear thin rather quickly.

In other words, the 80-year-old's subsequent career, as a happiness-obsessed motivational speaker from Dallas, is a perfect fit. You can book Foreman for one of his keynote lectures ("How to Have a Good Day Every Day!" is apparently a popular one, as is "Dream Big Dreams and Make Them Live!"). Or, for about three grand, you can travel to Kerrville for the three-day "Successful Life Course," aka "Happy Camp."

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Vigil Organizers Scrap Plans to Honor Crandall Cop Who Allegedly Killed His Wife

No one who encountered Sergeant Nick Pitofsky while he patrolled the streets of Crandall would have predicted that he'd wind up as the perpetrator of a murder-suicide, fatally shooting his wife, then himself at their home in the Cedars.

Understandable that the first response from his Crandall PD colleagues would be to describe him as an "energetic and jovial person who got along with everyone" and was "well-respected by his peers." It's a hard thing to digest, the prospect that a otherwise decent person might be capable of murder.

But inviting people to the town gazebo to "Come say farewell to the man who served Crandall" at a candlelight vigil? That's a bridge too far.

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How a Picture of a Kid Peeing Turned Into a Victory for Cell Phone-Privacy Rights in Texas

Categories: News, Technology

Anthony Granville didn't set out to strike a blow for privacy rights on the fateful day in November 2010 when he snapped a cell-phone photo in a boy's restroom at Huntsville High School. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to prosecutors, Granville's photo, taken without the subject's permission, showed another student urinating.

When he was told of the photo, Huntsville High school resource officer Everett Harrell recognized it as a potential case of improper photography, a state jail felony. He just needed the picture to prove it.

Harrell got his chance the next day when Granville was booked into the county lockup on an unrelated charge of causing a disturbance on a school bus. He drove to the jail, retrieved Granville's cell phone from the property room, and printed a copy of the picture.

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Frisco Just Banned E-Cigarettes in Public Places, But Why?

Categories: Healthcare, News

Electronic cigarettes look like cigarettes. They supply nicotine like cigarettes. Users exhale a puffy cloud like cigarettes. So they must be cigarettes, right?

According to the Frisco City Council, yes. On Tuesday night, its members voted unanimously to ban the use of e-cigarettes wherever traditional cigarettes are banned -- i.e. in most public places.

"I gotta say, I'm just not compelled to view e-cigarettes any different than I do regular cigarettes," said Councilman Bob Allen. "I don't believe I can get to that point."

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