Ron Kirk and Lee Jackson Are a Pair of Madmen on the Trinity Toll Road Issue

Categories: Schutze

Daniel Fishel

Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and former Dallas County Judge Lee Jackson, two wild and crazy guys, had a shared piece on the opinion pages of The Dallas Morning News yesterday under a headline, "Congestion will worsen without Trinity toll road."

If you asked Kirk and Jackson to produce a single study to show their proposed toll road would reduce congestion, they couldn't do it. None of the studies show that.

In fact, from the very beginning of this incredibly drawn-out increasingly ridiculous 18-year debate, the studies have all shown that Kirk and Jackson's story is not true. Think about it. If it's such a silver bullet, why hasn't a stone been turned in almost two decades of talking about it?

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The News and WFAA Suck in Some Funny Numbers at DISD. Should Have Done the Math.

Categories: Schutze

Courtesy Bill Betzen
Bill Betzen with education historian Diane Ravitch.
Last week, barely 24 hours before the Dallas school board was to vote on a complicated school construction proposal, two major media published stories saying the district has been conspiring to strip-mine federal subsidy money out of poor schools and spend it instead on more affluent kids.

That's huge. If true, the accusation makes a lie of every single thing Superintendent Mike Miles has said about himself and his goals.

Both WFAA News 8 and The Dallas Morning News ran with the story, based entirely on an analysis handed to them by anti-school reform activist Bill Betzen, a retired Dallas teacher and self-taught statistician now closely allied with the teachers unions.

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Hey, the Kid Apologized. What Do You Want? Professional Grievers?

Categories: Schutze

Sean Bergin, the New Jersey TV reporter who did not apologize.

The kid from Highland Park who got caught singing a racist chant on a fraternity bus at Oklahoma University has apologized, but some of the twitterati aren't buying it.

See also: Highland Park Grad Who Sang Racist Chant at OU Fraternity Says He's Sorry

@GEEPENNIN tweeted: "Pettit's apology is rehearsed and almost robotic. He is only sorry his racist chant was videotaped. Nothing he says comes from the heart."

@TheLostOgle said, "I wonder which PR Firm coached Levi Pettit. Was it a local firm or a national one?"

Our own blog commenter, Sotiredofitall, said, "Next stop; MSNBC with Rev. Sharpton, then a book deal."

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

Categories: Schutze

Don Smith

OK, here comes a great chance to see what the Dallas school board is really made of. Spotted this on the agenda for tonight's meeting: The board will vote on a legal settlement for a fired employee who was the board's own employee, not an employee of the superintendent of schools.

So after weeks of shellacking the superintendent for paying settlements to his own fired staffers, what will the school board do when it's their own employee?

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Watching La Bajada Get Mown Down by Traffic Is Like Watching Kittens in the Street

Categories: Schutze

Does La Bajada need an Avi Adelman, or perhaps an Alvaro Adames?

Last week I attended a community meeting for the La Bajada neighborhood, an old working class Hispanic community at the foot of the fake Calatrava suspension bridge in West Dallas. A new entertainment district is already well established cheek by jowl with the neighborhood, and developers nearby are ready to break ground on $100 million worth of fancy apartments and shops.

People can handle a rogue drug dealer in La Bajada, but they have no idea what to do with developers. It's like watching kittens wander into traffic.

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Thirteen Harvard/Princeton Products Whose Stories May Help Place Ted Cruz in Context

Categories: Schutze

So Ted Cruz went to Harvard. So did Ted Kaczynski.

What does it mean to be a product of Harvard and/or Princeton? Does it imply a mandatory elevation, a certain stature beneath which a person cannot sink?

Now that Ted Cruz has declared his candidacy for president of the United States, I have been forced finally to come to grips with my own cognitive dissonance.

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Despite Irving's Anti-Muslim Resolution, the Suburb's Immigrant Population Thrives

Categories: Schutze

Jim Schutze
Despite what some in Irving might say, you have nothing to fear here.
Less than a mile from D/FW Airport, brand-new street signs proclaim the names of two newly paved streets snaking through acres of raw dirt -- the corner of Al Razi and Al Hazen. In the distance, the first new house in the Al Hamra subdivision soars up off the ground in a forest of lumber roaring with saws and air compressors on a Friday morning.
You can tell already it's going to be a whopper. Ten feet higher and the chimneys will get clipped by the big planes coming in low to land at the airport.

I drove out here on a slate-gray Friday morning because John Danish, a longtime Irving City Council member and chairman of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board, told me this was what I needed to come see if I wanted to get what was going on in Irving. I had called him first thing that morning after reading a story in the paper about an ugly Irving council meeting the night before.

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Not Just Kneecapping It, Anchia Wants to Make Sure Trinity Toll Road Won't Kill Us

Categories: Schutze

State Rep. Rafael Anchia

Hang on. We had a piece here the other day saying State Representative Rafael Anchia had introduced legislation in Austin to "kneecap" the proposed Trinity toll road project in Dallas, and, true enough, that's what Anchia's bills might do.

But in addition to blocking certain state funding from being used for this most hated of all public works projects, Anchia's legislation also seeks to restore basic levels of human safety and social responsibility if it does get built. That may be the more important part of what Anchia is trying to do.

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UT and Legislature Just Keep Digging That Wallace Hall Hole Deeper for Themselves

Categories: Schutze

If you have to get caught lying somewhere, try to make it not be here.

From the very beginning, top Texas legislators and key officials at the University of Texas have offered only one response to revelations of wrongdoing brought forward by UT System Regent Wallace Hall of Dallas -- absolute denial, backed up by a yee-haw hog-hunting bloodlust for Hall's scalp. The more they do it, the deeper they dig.

In the last few days, the corrupt practices discovered by Hall -- funny money at the law school, secret backdoor admissions for relatives of legislators, bogus accounting of endowment funds and more -- have spurred a cascade of negative external consequences for UT.

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With Friends Like the Trinity Toll Road Mafia, You Don't Need Enemies

Categories: Schutze

So what was Anchia really doing here? Trying to steal the mayor's watch?

The Trinity toll road mafia recognizes only two positions to be held on the need for a new 10-lane tolled expressway through downtown on the banks of the Trinity River: 1) short hairs or 2) bullet in the face.

I talked briefly yesterday to former City Council member and anti-toll road crusader Angela Hunt. She was sort of agog (oh, not really) about the nasty quotes in The Dallas Morning News over the weekend concerning State Representative Rafael Anchia.

See also: Dallas State Rep. Anchia Files Bills to Kneecap Trinity Toll Road

Anchia, long a favored son of the establishment, introduced anti-toll road legislation in Austin last week. By Sunday former mayor and longtime Anchia admirer Ron Kirk was already shooting at his face. Kirk called Anchia "misguided and disingenuous" (stupid and dishonest).

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