Archive for June, 2006

June 30, 2006

The Tale of Two Corners

Dallas’ Progress isn’t just about flashy hotels like the W and its accompanying development. It’s about the un-famous people who risk their lives to provide services to neighborhoods and put food on the table for their families.

Just 2 miles away from the W, on the other side of the Trinity (and for all intents and purposes, the world) sits Oak Cliff.

Oak Cliff is under siege. One of the many ‘ground zeros’ in Oak Cliff is at the corner of Denley and Morrell (map).

I was already working on a positive story about Chi’s Grocery, the first new store in the middle of Oak Cliff in some time. Chi’s store is on the corner of Denley & Morrell. Chi’s Grocery is a success story, having been at another store at the same intersection for more than 10 years. He recently moved into a renovated store with more space, more items, and no burglar bars. As mentioned in the Dallas Morning News, Chi’s Grocery is a store where kids can get items for upping their grades and seniors can get items on credit.

Chi’s old store, now called the Morrell Food Mart, recently got a new tenant.

According to Shaun Rabb’s Fox 4 News report, Morrell Food Mart quickly got a good reputation for having good breakfast and burgers. Two weeks after the store was opened, the owner is dead.

He was found beaten to death in the middle of the morning. In broad daylight, a man is murdered and his dreams shattered. The Grand Opening sign is still posted!

This is at least the 5th murder in the past few weeks in Oak Cliff. Just this week, there have been 2 other killings and several shootings.

Somehow, we have to get a handle on the crime in Oak Cliff. While the District 4 councilperson was clicking wine glasses at the W last night, ordinary citizens are just trying to make it. I wonder when was the last time she has been to Morrell and Denley. I would guess never, but I could be wrong. Everything is not political, but the ignoring of this area is political.

The W Hotel …… Morrell & Denley. 3 miles apart…Totally different worlds. This is an area where some rent houses cost less per month than one night at the W Hotel ($320+) and a trip to the Ghostbar (drinks $15 and up).

I’m sure the residents would love to have a townhall meeting on crime, drugs, and gun violence. But I doubt it will happen. If she can make time to go to a hotel opening at Victory Park, can’t she make time for the residents of her own district?

What’s going to be done about the violence in Oak Cliff?

June 30, 2006

Harassment and Tasering of SMU Students on Lower Greenville

Everyone knows that I have the utmost respect for police officers. Chief Kunkle is not perfect, but he is trying to the best he can. He did inherit a mixed bag of police officers. I disagree with one of the recent firings but I feel most are justified.

The harassment of the SMU player is particularly disturbing, however. I have cops in my family, and I understand that in the heat of the moment tough decisions have to be made. I know they have to protect the public. I’ve sat in a hospital because one of the officers in my family was shot in the line of duty.

To increase the public trust, we have to get a handle on the rogue policemen. They inhibit the effectiveness of the department and tarnish the reputation of those that want to do the job in a professional manner. The recent increases in salary and the $10,000 bonuses should help us recruit better officers and hopefully we can get rid of the rogues at the same time.

Here is the link to the story from Channel 8 (with video).

June 29, 2006

New Police District Station in Oak Cliff… A Long Time Coming

I saw something on the Council agenda that raised my spirits. There will be a vote to start construction next month for the South Central Police substation, to be located at Camp Wisdom near Lancaster in the Singing Hills area in Oak Cliff (map). Construction will start in July and the building should be completed in May of 2007. It will house up to 500 officers!

Right now, South and East Oak Cliff police come from either the SE District police substation in Pleasant Grove, or the SW Division police station at Illinois and Cockrell Hill. That contributes to slower response times to crime, and overall lack of police presence because the officers are overworked and stretched too thin.

This time next year, Oak Cliff will be a lot safer. Thanks to Councilman Fantroy and all others involved for making sure that this project is completed.

June 28, 2006

Betty Culbreath update

Miss Culbreath is now in fair condition, but still hospitalized. Please keep her in your prayers.
I look forward to hearing her fighting for the community soon.

June 28, 2006

Details for District 14 Bond Package Add-Ons

Councilperson Angela Hunt has outlined her add-ons to the 2006 Bond Package. They are available in detail here on her blog. No pork here, all are these projects are good for the community.

June 28, 2006

Prayers are Needed

Please keep Betty Culbreath in your thoughts and prayers. She had emergency surgery last night and is in a local hospital at the present time.

June 28, 2006

“I Will not Reveal My Benefactors, as Saying those Names may Tend to Incriminate Me…”

According to Carolyn Barta at DallasBlog, Maxine Reese claims she is “not at liberty to say” who the real estate people are behind the $3.7 million shopping center add-on in the bond election. In almost every other real estate deal in which the city is involved, the companies involved are known waaaaay ahead of time.

Example: Forest City and the Mercantile
Hillwood and Victory Center Complex
and on … and on … and on

I bet you also didn’t know that Reese only had two bond hearings (to present the proposed Bond Package), BOTH AT CITY HALL at 630 at night! So the seniors and single parents and other poor people that can’t afford to make it downtown in the evening have no voice. Think about that.

The city spends more than $1 billion, you want $4 million for your pork-fest, and you don’t even have the decency to have meetings in the District. Could you imagine Bill Blaydes or Rasansky telling their voters that you have to come downtown to hear our plans? And people wonder why I write what I write.

Do I need to say any more?

June 28, 2006

Roll Call

I wanted to take this time again to thank all of the blogs and people who recommended Dallas Progress as a blog to read and a place to watch. DallasBlog, DallasArena, Dallas.org, WillisDaCrooner (KKDA 730AM), D Magazines’s FrontBurner, DallasPeeps, and the Observer’s Unfair Park will always have a special place in my heart.

We started out with 100 hits per day, now we’re north of 300 per day and sometimes hit 400.

Thanks to all of you who are making this possible!

June 27, 2006

What Others are Saying about the Bond Package Add-Ons

Trey Garrison at DallasBlog summarizes it here.
Tim Rogers at DMag’s Frontburner had two things to say. Here and here.
Rod Davis at Frontburner also links to us right here.

June 27, 2006

In this Episode of “Pork..The other White Meat”

More on the bond Add-On package in District 4

To put $4 million into a place that is NOT listed anywhere on the public comments or the bond assessment is absurd.

Everyone else in the Southern Sector is doing something that is needed. But not Reese. She’d rather add a give a little going-away present to her campaign contributor. Do you know how much could be done elsewhere in District 4 with four million dollars?

I know I cannot win this battle, but I still wanted to make the comment.

Hopefully, a Reese crony will NOT be in office when this project takes place. That’s the only way that the behind the scenes crap can be monitored.

It’s your tax money here.