The News Has Never Come Faster or Harder, and Nobody Cares

Categories: Schutze

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Strictly from a newspaper point of view and comparing today with maybe 40 years ago, current events are re-writing the basic rules of what we in the business have always called call "story sense."

Forty years ago it would have been major front-page news for researchers to find a geological fault line in a densely populated area. Then, OMG, on top of that, I can't even imagine how huge it would have been for people 40 years ago to see something like Stephen Young's piece here yesterday: He reported that the federal government has found proof that human beings are doing stuff to cause earthquakes all around that fault line.

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If a Pit Bull Attacks My Dogs -- Or Me -- Will I Be Prosecuted If I Shoot the Damn Thing?

Categories: Schutze

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Flickr/maplegirlie
THIS PARTICULAR PIT BULL IS SO CUTE AND UNSHOOTABLE.
Yeah, Steve Blow definitely got my attention yesterday with his column in The Dallas Morning News about an anti-pitbull organization, maybe because I just got my socks scared off again yesterday afternoon by the Amazing Flying Pit Bull From Hell in the alley across the street from me.

I walk my dogs in the alleys. No, not for that reason. I always pick up. I walk my dogs in the alleys because the one that's mine, as opposed to the one that's my wife's, has her own little nip-and-tuck problem if people surprise her. It's under control. I keep her on a tight leash, especially if I see an aggressive dog-smoocher coming at me, one of those people who's going to kiss your dog on the mouth no matter what you say to warn them.

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Dallas ISD's Mike Miles Will Build Beyond the Test, If the City Lets Him Get There

Categories: Schutze
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Mark Graham
"It's one of these things Miles is going to get to in a year and a half," says Trustee Mike Morath. "He's very methodical."

Dallas school trustee Mike Morath sent me a link to an Ira Glass "This American Life" radio show about testing and the ability of children to succeed in life. I thought it spoke to a lot of the blowback I get from teachers mad at me for sticking up for Dallas ISD superintendent and reformer Mike Miles.

Spoke to me, too. Maybe we all have something to learn, amazing as that would be in my own case.

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If Philip Kingston Is a "Specialist at Aggravating His Colleagues," We Need More Like Him

Categories: Schutze

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Mark Graham
Vonciel Hill is neither for the toll road nor against the toll road, nor is she in favor of the park road or against it, but she supports everything.
Wait a minute. Before we all just go tripping on down the road, we need to go back and sort out a particular aspect of last week's nasty city council meeting about the Trinity River toll road, the multi-lane, high-speed, limited access highway some people still want to stick on top of the Trinity River downtown.

Was it ill-mannered and "aggravating" of the anti-toll road minority on the council to ask that the other side say what it intends to do? A Dallas Morning News editorial after last week's meeting described city councilman Philip Kingston as a person "who opposes the road and has become a specialist at aggravating his colleagues."

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Make Your Dreams of Killing the Trinity Toll Road Come True This Election

Categories: Schutze

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Lily Padula
Right after the Trinity Commons luncheon early last week, there was something close to euphoria among hardcore opponents of the Trinity toll road, the limited-access, high-speed highway proposed but unbuilt for 18 years along the Trinity River downtown. They spoke to me off the record, because they assumed negotiations lay ahead..

They were gobsmacked by the presentation at the luncheon -- a scheme that looked as if it could be the long-sought solution to an incredibly bitter political fight that has riven the city for two decades.

By the end of the week, that euphoria had crumbled to bleak misgivings and anger. An acrimonious City Council meeting Thursday, called and stage-managed by the mayor, convinced the opponents of the toll road that their high hopes a few days earlier had fallen somewhere between naïvete and foolhardiness.

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Everything Is Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles' Fault. Everything. Period.

Categories: Schutze

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U. S. Army
The Army isn't the only fan of golden parachutes. Just ask the Dallas school board.

Oops. Had to leave town early last week for a wedding. Almost let a good one slip by. Do you mind if I go back and pick it up, if a few days belatedly?

Three weeks ago I told you about the case of Don Smith, an internal investigator at the Dallas public school system who was fired last October for reasons that never have been stated publicly. I said that the school board was about to vote on a settlement payment for Smith.

See also: Will the Dallas School Board Give Its Own Favored Employee a Bon Voyage Present?

Reasons for his firing are not known and maybe not all that interesting. He came to the district with a solid resume as an IRS investigator. I have written critically about his involvement in past controversies, but I think with the passage of time I can chalk most of that up more to politics than competence. He just picked the wrong politics.


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Lockey and MacKenzie are Baaaack, and They're Still Saying Dallas Racially Segregates

Categories: Schutze

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Designed by architects Harwood K. Smith and Dales Young Foster, LTV Tower at 1600 Pacific opened in 1964 as the fifth tallest building in Dallas.
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Really cool Mad Men interiors.
Told you so. Curtis Lockey and Craig MacKenzie, the downtown tower redevelopers who accused Dallas of practicing deliberate racial segregation, are back with a brand-new federal lawsuit against the city. These guys won't go away.

See also: Nobody Has Counted to 10 Yet in that Lockey/Mackenzie vs. City of Dallas Bout.

Last November the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pulled the rug from under them on a broad-based racial segregation complaint against the city of Dallas. Mayor Mike Rawlings made a big deal of the fact he had visited with brand-new HUD Secretary Julian Castro and charmed him into getting HUD to fold on a four-year investigation that had confirmed all of the developer's complaints.

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Haven't Read it Yet, But We're Ready to Rock and Roll on that Trinity Dream Team Report

Categories: Schutze

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Dallas Museum of Art
Mayor Mike Rawlings hasn't read the Dream Report yet but he likes it.

The muscle is on, Chicago-style in Dallas. The mayor and the people he carries water for on the Trinity toll road do not want you to see, hear or talk about their so-called "Dream Team" plan for the toll road before they can get it underway.

That's why they will unveil the plan itself today at a $150-plate (minimum) luncheon from which the non-paying public will be excluded. Then Thursday -- barely 48 hours after the well-heeled crowd at the luncheon see it, without a single public hearing, before anybody has time to digest any of it -- the mayor's team will ask the council to approve an implementation study in order to get it underway pronto.

Wait. Tell me again why are we implementing it before we decide to do it? Scott Goldstein, the mayor's spokesman, told me the City Council won't be asked Thursday to decide to implement the Dream Team plan. They'll be asked only to approve a study on how to implement it.


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Fake Scandalgate Grinds on at Dallas ISD, Thanks to Brett Shipp and the News

Categories: Schutze

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Someone tell those clowns with the torches to put up or shut up already. We're looking your way, Shipp.

All right, the only thing I'm doing here is hitting the button to start the half-life timer on the latest installment of Scandalgate. At the end of last week, Brett Shipp at WFAA TV and the education beat reporters at The Dallas Morning News launched a new Dallas school district scandal story, this one to the effect that a top school administrator has been firing people and then physically beating them up on their way out the door.

And like all the earlier chapters in Scandalgate, just think if it were true! OMG! They fire people, and then on their way out of the building they take a few pokes at them? Educators do this? If this were true, shouldn't we expect RTÉ, Irish National Television, and Al Jazeera to show up early this week?

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When Republicans and Corporations Start Looking Good, Please Pass the Hemlock

Categories: Schutze

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Texas Association of Business
Bill Hammond

R.G. Ratcliffe, former investigative ace for The Houston Chronicle and long one of the top reporters in Texas (maybe the top), has a wonderful piece up this week on the Texas Monthly politics blog about Bill Hammond, chief executive officer of the Texas Association of Business (state Chamber of Commerce) and a way-back East Dallas boy before he moved to Austin and Gomorrah.

The piece leapt out when I saw it, because I had just had a long sidewalk dog-walking chat with some fellow East Dallas worn-out hippies in which we discussed the very disturbing fact that corporations are beginning to look enlightened to us, given the alternatives.

Hammond was no hippie. He's a lifelong Republican, scion of an old Lakewood family. He was still running the family business, Dallas Tent and Awning, when I knew him 125 years ago. I remember sitting by the neighborhood pool with him and his wife talking about issues that were close to the bone in East Dallas -- schools, poverty in the 'hood, crime, what to do about anything.


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