Young People Still Hate Dallas

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We're cool! Swear!
You may have seen some of the breathless headlines. "In the heat of summer, Forbes says Dallas is cool." "No surprise that Texas has some of the coolest cities in America." "Dallas Among Top 10 'Coolest Cities in America'."

But here's the deal, Dallas: Houston and Austin have both outcooled us. And it's all because young people hate it here.

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Plano Declares a Water Holiday. Why Waste it on your Lawn?

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Fred Rockwood
This could be you, if you live in Plano.

If you are a Plano resident, you probably received a letter recently that patted you on the back for your water conservation. And you were also probably informed of an upcoming Water Holiday.

Plano's yards have been baking under water restrictions aimed to cut consumption by 15-20 percent. City spokesman Steve Stoler says Plano residents actually did much better, slashing usage 40 percent, which sounds good, except that when consumption goes down, water stored in the city's tanks sits around too long and goes bad. To increase circulation enough to prevent spoiled water, Plano is going to let residents open up the tap for a bit.

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Movoto's Irving Listicle Is All Sorts of Wrong

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Nicolas Henderson
Movoto, for those of you who don't get their unsolicited press releases in your inbox, is an online real estate brokerage that specializes, best we can tell, in mass producing generic listicles.

As a general rule, it's best to ignore these things and hope they go away, but we had to make an exception for the site's "21 Things You Need To Know About Irving Before You Move There" opus, if only because it was clearly written by someone who spent somewhere between 12 and 18 minutes Googling "Las Colinas."

We won't tackle all 21 items, though all are dumb in their own unique way, but allow us to correct some of Movoto's more pernicious misconceptions about Irving.

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Dallas, Trashed by Outside Magazine, Gets Last Word With Victorious, Eighth-Best City Ranking in Forbes Listicle

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Steve Rainwater
When Outside magazine named Dallas the least outdoorsy city in America, as Eric reported this week, the insult felt personal. The magazine not only failed to notice local outdoorsy favorites like White Rock Lake and Klyde Warren Park, it also accused us all of wearing unfashionable "ten-gallon hats."

We now have harder proof that Outside magazine has made a mistake. Forbes, a much more prestigious magazine, reports this week Dallas is actually one of the country's best cities for millennials. The timing couldn't have been better.

Forbes' special report, "Best Cities And Neighborhoods For Millennials," puts Dallas in the very solid and respectable No. 8 spot.

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Dallas Is Apparently Less "Country" Than Milwaukee, the Least "Country" City in Texas

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Congratulations, Dallas. Your never-ending quest to become "world class" has finally paid off. Not in the sense that Dallas will now be mentioned in the same breath as London and Paris or transformed into a international tourist hotspot. But you have finally succeeded in scrubbing off the redness the rest of the world assumes is covering the back of your neck.

Proof: Dallas is the "least country city in Texas," according to a study by the real estate website Estately, which ranked the nation's 50 most populous cities based on the percentage of people with Facebook interests like "rodeo" and "pickup trucks" and ran the results through an extensive peer-review process. (That's how these gimmicky real estate blogs work, right?)

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D/FW International Airport Is Second in the Country for Confiscating Loaded Guns

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TSA
The only thing surprising about the fact that TSA agents confiscate a ton of loaded weapons from passengers attempting to board aircraft at D/FW International Airport is that Atlanta apparently confiscates more of them. Houston comes in third, nationally, behind us.

So says the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, which compiled TSA data and created a ranking that tells us that some folks around here really do think they can carry anywhere, even at 30,000 feet. And most of them don't even bother emptying the chamber or ejecting the loaded clip.

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The 10 Wackiest Unfair Park Stories of 2013

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Dallas County Sheriff's Office
By now, you're probably sick of year-end lists. Too bad. New Year's is still a day-and-a-half away, there's very little happening news-wise, and, most important, journalists have not yet exhausted their onanistic need to rehash their old work.

So, here's our contribution. Part best-of, part most-clicked, part whatever the hell struck our fancy, it's 2013 as experienced by readers of Unfair Park:

Dallas County Now Has Its Very Own Bulletproof, "Mine-Protected" Military SUV: Until this fall, the Dallas County sheriff's squad cars were perfectly adequate for the typically humdrum task of serving warrants. But when the Department of Defense offers up free of charge a half-million-dollar military SUV designed to withstand roadside IEDs and insurgent attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the opportunity is hard to resist, which is how the sheriff's office came to be in possession of its very own Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.

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Poll: Dallas Still the City of Hate When it Comes to Loathing the Federal Government

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Rachel Parker
You see what you do to us, Congress?
There was a time not so long ago, back when the country wasn't perpetually teetering on the brink of economic collapse, when bitching about the federal government was fun. Washington was that crazy unemployed uncle who was always hanging around, irritating as hell but otherwise harmless.

But now that his gas can's empty and the match is lit, the joy has disappeared. The complaints take on a fearful tone; the emotions behind them turn from bemused exasperation to to pure burning hatred.

This shift can be measured by pollsters, at least to a point. They've watched as the number of Americans who express faith in their elected leaders and in the direction they're leading the country plummets to historic lows.

Nowhere in the country are those numbers lower than in Dallas. A recent Harris Interactive poll found that, among the nation's biggest cities, Dallas despises Washington more than anyone.

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Garland Swears it Doesn't Really Have the Worst Drivers in Texas

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Flickr user randyrat
Welcome to Garland
Each year, Allstate comes out with a list of America's worst drivers, and each year, Dallas is puzzled to discover it doesn't come out on top, an honor typically reserved for Washington, D.C.

That's not to say that drivers here aren't terrible. In this year's report, Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Irving, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Garland, Arlington and Dallas are all clustered in the bottom quarter. It's just that they could be worse.

Garland is the only city with a legitimate shot to crack the top 10. With drivers there averaging 6.8 years between accidents, which puts it at a respectable 16th from the bottom. The ranking gives the suburb an undisputed claim to having Texas' worst drivers.

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Poll: Dallas Is the Happiest Big City in the Country, Because We Love Jesus

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Danny Hurley
Also, we have beer.
Here's the bad news: If you are young, poor, black or Hispanic, disabled, or just graduated from college, you are significantly less happy than you were two years ago. Recent polling says so.

Now, the same folks at Harris Polling who brought us that depressing tidbit now bring a spot of good news: If you live in Dallas/Fort Worth, you're more likely to be "very happy" than if you live in any other big city in the country.

This may seem surprising. If it doesn't, you're probably not grinding through the Mixmaster at rush hour or spending enough time in the comments section. But Harris is a fairly well-respected outfit, and they assure us that the results are sound.

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