Archive for September, 2006

September 29, 2006

Hotel Palomar Caught Fire Today

The brand-new, just opened Hotel Palomar development (link) caught fire on the residential side of the project (map)… it looks contained.

I got the scoop via Adam at FrontBurner and Robert Wilonsky at Unfair Park. They were both notified by friends that work near Central Expressway…they have richer friends than I do lol.

This is a sad deal – I like the building and the concept. Hopefully they can get it fixed and ready to go, for their grand opening was just days ago.

September 27, 2006

We Need FIGHTERS! – My Thoughts on the May 2007 Elections

The Mayor’s office may be a position in which you have to do a lot of glad-handing and PR-schtick in addition to the day-to-day tasks. However, the City Council is an entirely different ballgame.

Here’s a message to anyone running for Dallas City Council Seats Four, Five, Seven, or Eight:

If you’re just running to run… If you’re running because you know a lot of people or you have a lot of money and like free banquet tickets and want to see and be seen… or the Citizens Council told you to run… DO US ALL A FAVOR and stay home. Stop wasting our time, we don’t need you!

In the Southern Sector, we need Councilpeople that are willing to FIGHT! The ills of these areas must be addressed! We have to take the drug dealers and pimps to war. We have to take the code violators and slumlords to war. We have to clean up the streets so people will want to invest in our side of town. Get it straight, when I say our side of town I’m not referring to any one race of people. I am simply referring to anyone that lives in those Council Districts.

How bad is it? It’s bad when your wife goes to the gas station and a woman warns her not to wear her purse while pumping gas in broad daylight. It’s bad when prostitutes are walking down the street with no tops on, propositioning people at 2:30 in the afternoon as school kids walk home.

Crime is occurring in the southern sector at an astounding rate. If you don’t have a recent record of fighting crime and real community issues, DON’T RUN. If you’re not going to get out in the streets YOURSELF and do something about it, then DON’T RUN. Simple as that. You need one of these, not a City Council seat.

When I hear people campaigning, I want to hear specifics. None of that vague garbage that sounds good and tastes great but doesn’t get our neighborhoods anywhere closer to being viable. City Council is a serious job that requires serious people.

People that live in Council Districts Four, Five, Seven, and Eight need true leaders and my hope is that the City Council ballots are filled by such people in May 2007.

September 27, 2006

The Most Important Film You May See this Year

I may be a little late jumping on the bandwagon, but The Boys of Baraka (link) is the best film that I’ve seen this year. It’s now on DVD, and is a must see. This movie should be required viewing for every educator, parent, and politician in Dallas.

The Boys of Baraka chronicles the lives of four middle-school boys from inner-city Baltimore, a city so violent that some call it Bodymore, Murderland. It follows them on their journey to attend the Baraka School, a special all-boys school in Kenya, in hopes of preparing them for high school. Such programs are needed since it is reported that 75% of Baltimore’s boys do not graduate high school.

I don’t want to give away the movie, but I will say that it is an illustration of the myriad of obstacles that young ghetto children face on a daily basis.

Listen to what Bill Cosby is saying in his commentary on the movie (link). Then listen to it AGAIN. And then apply it to the children you know and the community in which you live.

This movie is THAT important. You must see it.

September 27, 2006

From the Pimp the Community Collection

I just read about the latest energy drink on the market called … Cocaine. Seriously, that’s the name. It comes in an attractive red can and is marketed toward high schoolers and teenagers. The manufacturer is real proud of himself as seen in these quotes:

“It’s an energy drink, and it’s a fun name. As soon as people look at the can, they smile.”

“Instant Rush. NO Crash!”

It’s “the legal alternative” to the white powder drug.

Remember the board game Ghetto-opoly, which was a board game that was based on Monopoly and you won by buying stolen properties, building crack houses and projects? Well this is along those lines. Another irresponsible product for the sake of publicity and profit.

Unlike other websites, I’m not displaying a copy of the can or the website address.

Already available in Los Angeles in New York, the makers claim it will be sold nationwide by the end of the year. I guarantee you they will have a fight on their hands if they come to Dallas.

September 26, 2006

Angela Hunt Continues to Impress

Whether it’s making her own stand against the City Staff Comprehensive Plan, or standing up to the issue of red-light cameras, Angela has continued to make her voice heard and her opinion known whether it’s liked or not.

Angela also has her own blog. The address is Why is this impressive? It’s because she doesn’t run and hide after the council meeting – she puts her thoughts on major issues out there to be read by everyone.

This week, she has a great take on why Urban Market needed to get more money (newsflash: the market was the City’s idea – link) and last week she wrote about the ridiculous red light cameras that are coming (link). I’m still scratching my head as to why ACS got the contract (more expensive, older technology, and the company is under investigation).

The bottom line is that City Hall will have to deal with her. District 14, of which I was previously a resident, provides a lot of the revenue that the city needs.

Everyone has their opinion. But you have to look at the facts. When Angela was elected, one of the first things she did was bond with ALL of the residents of the district.

Before she knew who I was, I called her office and left a voicemail about a concern in the area. It was handled the same morning! Ask yourself, do you get service like that from your councilperson?

Yes, I do consider Angela a friend. But will I agree with every decision she makes? Absolutely not, but who agrees all of the time? However, I do feel she has the City’s best interests in mind when she votes. Angela is articulate and prepared – everyone should expect the same out of their City Council representative.

Angela does not ‘go along to get along.’ That garbage is what has been KILLING our city government. I respect the fact that she has heart and will do what the voters feel is best.

For those of you that don’t get out much and listen to all of the poverty pimps that flood the airwaves, District 14 isn’t all townhouses, condos and mansions. D-14 is the most diverse district in the City. It includes housing projects and lower-income areas as well. For those of you who don’t know, Angela has been an advocate for ALL people in her district.

Last winter, Angela was one of the only council people that held neighborhood listening sessions in ALL areas (twelve meetings). The results of which are shown here, for everyone to see (LINK). Can anyone else produce such a list?

Immediately after her run-off win in June 2005, she visited the Roseland Homes to participate in their Juneteenth celebration. In April 2006, she traveled to Houston to investigate low-income housing and how it works in other cities and then led the charge to support Larry James and CDM with the City Walk @ Akard project. In this article (LINK), it seems like she’s FIGHTING FOR BETTER LOW-INCOME HOUSING OPTIONS! Can anyone else make such claims?

So cut the b.s. And kill the smokescreens.

Because of her stance on the comprehensive plan, as well as other issues, Angela will win the election next year by a landslide. The residents of District 14 will see to it.

One day, Angela will run for Mayor. Unless I’m running, she’s got my vote.

September 25, 2006

“You Have Dialed 911, Please Don’t Die…”

My wife and I were driving along Marvin Love freeway yesterday and saw a small grass fire that was growing at a decent clip. It looked like the result of one of those morons who smokes a cigarette and then flicks it out the window. You know the type…the same kind of idiot that started the fire next to the DFW airport toll gate a little while back.

Considering yesterday was a pretty breezy day, we figured we would report it and dial 911.

The first time, it rang for about a minute.

The second time, we were placed on hold (!) with a recorded message that was straight off the Bank of America customer dis-service line.

After 3 more minutes, we were able to report the fire and then wonder why it took so long to report an emergency.

It was a good thing I wasn’t shot or running from an angry mob, I’d probably be dead by now.

September 23, 2006

Slum Motel Owner and Financier in Trouble in Arlington

Chan Patel, who was of the founders of the hot-sheet motel in Dallas, is in hot water. More from Channel 8 here (link).

For those who don’t know, Chan Patel went from owning motels to financing them through the bank he founded with his tainted money, the State Bank of Texas.

These places rent hourly, they rent to hookers and johns and drug dealers. He is one of the reasons that Dallas, Fort Worth, and every city in between continues to be stuck with so many of these places. He loans them the money!

For those of you that don’t think he encourages prostitution, here’s a quote from Chan Patel who once had this to say in a previous Dallas Morning News interview:

“When asked why he was forced to go back to accepting business from prostitutes, Dallas motel-owner Chandrakant Patel said, “After awhile, you say, ‘I can’t survive, I’ve got to go back to hourly rates.’”

I’m sure he has the money in his back pocket, but what else would you expect from the kingpin of the hot-sheet motel?

September 22, 2006

New Kinky Friedman Doll!

In light of all the recent interviews and information, Blair Lovern at TexasGigs has been busy creating a new Kinky Friedman Doll. It comes complete with all of Kinky’s great quotes.

Check it out here.

September 21, 2006

Voter Fraud

Jack Fink of CBS 11 had a great story last night about voter fraud in the Lancaster election (link). A woman that lost a Lancaster ISD school board race had proof that someone voted a dead person in her race. Jeff Melcher of Lancaster Rackets (link) filed a complaint after saw how the voting process was being handled, and another citizen was shocked when Jack Fink showed him that he (among others) had been voted twice with forged signatures.

Surprised much?

I have heard that this has been happening in Dallas for years. With the fortunes of many people that have contracts and others with jobs that need to be protected, along with nine-figure bond elections coming into play, the stakes are higher than ever.

I bet it hasn’t been fully exposed because, as in Lancaster, the people who have been wronged don’t have the money to file an all-out complaint or request an inspection of the ballots.

I’m most worried about the May 2007 elections in Dallas. Anyone who has asked my opinions about running for City Council or any other seat has heard the same thing from me…you better have the money to hire poll-sitters for EVERY precinct in your race. If not, don’t bother running.

Any local reporter that wants to make a name for themselves could have a field day by following this issue in November 2006 and May 2007.

The Dallas Morning News also had some interesting stories on voting machine issues (link) and (link).

Hopefully, these stories will cause a greater light to be shone on the election process.

September 21, 2006

Valet’s Suck!

Shannon Wynne of TexasGigs wrote a great article on the growing contingent of awful valets (link). There’s not much more for me to say about this subject, he’s covered all the bases.

This reminds me of the time my Dad and I went to Uptown Manhattan when I was a kid. The guy on the corner asked “Do you need insurance?” We said asked for what, exactly… He said, in so many words, “for $20, I can insure that your car will be in one piece when you get back.” According to Shannon and some of the commenters on TexasGigs our enterprising friend in the Big Apple is one step ahead of Dallas valets.

Extortion is all the same, especially when it comes to valets.