Archive for October, 2006

October 30, 2006

Voting Primer – Dallas County Election Information

Each week of the election, I will republish this information to keep you up to date. Through Sunday, 66,262 people have voted according to the Dallas County Elections Department. Won’t you join them?

Here’s all the info you need to vote in Dallas County.

*List of all Elections (link)

*When and where to early vote (link)

*Check on your registration – You also can view your ballot ahead of time (link)

*State of Texas Early Voting Rules (link)

*Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required) (link)

*Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas (link)

*League of Women Voters’ Online Voters Guide (link)

October 30, 2006

A Change at the Dallas City Plan Commission

Kudos to Betty Culbreath! Ms. Culbreath, known to most of us as Miss Betty, is the Chair of the City Plan Commission (CPC). She introduced a plan to move the City Plan Commission meetings to 6:30 PM, starting in 2007.

As I have stated in previous blog posts (link), a lot happens at Plan Commission Meetings. They start in the early afternoon and can last into the evening. Changing the meeting times would give working people the opportunity to attend meetings and let their voices be heard. Many working people do not have paid time off, and have to make a serious financial sacrifice to attend. If an item gets postponed, they have to take another day of vacation. And so on. That is not fair.

Ms. Culbreath has listened to the voice of the working person, now it’s up to you!

If this passes, citizens MUST show up at the CPC meetings in higher numbers. Your neighborhoods are at stake, stand up and be counted!

October 30, 2006

Is the City Guilty of Lowball Tactics?

Emily Ramshaw at the DMN has a great article (link) on the old Lincoln Theatre on Bexar Street in South Dallas (map) , and the City’s attempt to buy the property from Jacquelyn Bilal. Mrs. Bilal is the widow of Lee Bilal, one of Dallas’ Black icons and one of the first Black police officers in Dallas.

It appears that the City is using tried and true tactics like questioning the Bilal’s title to the property and giving low-ball offers so they can move forward with their redevelopment project. That’s not fair.

If we can afford to give David Dean a bunch of extra free money, surely we can do what’s right and pay Mrs. Bilal a fair sum based on the future value of what Bexar Street commercial property will be worth.

You may not care what goes on in South Dallas, but just remember…if it can happen to Mrs. Bilal it can happen to your property anywhere in the City.

October 27, 2006


Fuel for Champions

OK, the wife and I live in Oak Cliff. Since the move, I’ve been going through La Duni (link) withdrawal. I can’t get my favorite desserts down here (or any Carne Asada Arrachera, for that matter). Those who love La Duni know exactly what I’m talking about.

You can’t fight the power without the proper fuel, so….

My wife actually made her OWN Cuatro Leches cake from scratch. You gotta love it!

(yeah, I have it THAT good).

October 27, 2006

Enough Talking, how ’bout some Doing?

If you scan recent local news, you will read about Texas’ high school dropout problem. I have also heard about recent statistics about DISD’s dropout issues. I heard that more than 50% of Blacks and Latinos that start 9th grade will not graduate.

You’ll read about little symposiums, meetings, and various “experts” doling out equal parts opinion and blame.

In other cities, they tackle the problem head-on. Read this article (link).

Read the piece again. This short article says it all. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, $2 million is on the way to focus on the seven worst high schools in Philadelphia (according to dropout rate), as well as select middle schools. That funding is in addition to other monies that are regularly allocated towards dropout prevention.

How much did the DISD allocate to its Dropout Prevention and Community Outreach program in its 2005-06 budget? A whopping $1.2 million.

It’s a big blame game. The cities can blame the State and the State can blame the Federal Government all day long.

It’s time to ante up. Enough meetings. Enough symposiums. Enough with the think tanks already.

Cut the check, and get to work.

October 26, 2006

Voting Glitches???

Rod Davis (no relation) over at FrontBurner (link) points out that a number of voters are being affected by glitches with the voter registration system. If you registered recently, read up and protect your vote.

October 26, 2006

Dallas Morning News and Annoying Ads

Getting away from politics for a minute…I saw an article in the business/tech section of today’s paper. It talked about getting rid of pop-ups and annoying browser ads (link).

The funny thing is that if you’ve surfed the DMN or WFAA online as I have in the past month, you have been inundated with annnoying browser ads from the likes of Strayhorn and others.

But I appreciate the help on getting rid of the annoying ads from the writer’s own company….I guess.

October 24, 2006

First Day Election Observations

As usual, I early voted for the upcoming election. I was prepared for the usual bombardment of campaign workers with flyers in hand and their attempts to sway my votes to their candidate.

Surprisingly, a trend I saw in May has continued.

Candidates aren’t getting their money’s worth. Most of the campaign workers were standing around talking to each other instead of voters. At one polling place, the workers were sitting on benches and yelling at us from 50 feet away (even though we were far enough from the poll to be approached with literature).

I got a total of one flyer for a judge. It wasn’t for District Attorney or Governor or anyone else. Either the candidates are taking voters for granted or your consultant took the money and ran.

Candidates, if you’re paying your hard earned cash you may want to get a refund. You either need a better field manager, better workers, or both. Having a lazy person working your campaign is as bad as having no one at all.

The most ridiculous sign placement of the day goes to Rose Renfroe, who had a sign affixed to the outside of a trash dumpster fence at the Records Building. Given her campaign strategy, maybe it was a fitting place for the sign.

The best part of Renfroe’s sign is the last-minute Rose “Rosita” Renfroe attachment to the bottom of the sign, an obvious fake attempt to appeal to Latinos that has been well documented by other news sources.

October 20, 2006

Voting Primer

Here’s all the info you need to vote in Dallas County.

*List of all Elections (link)

*When and where to early vote (link)

*Check on your registration – You also can view your ballot ahead of time (link)

*State of Texas Early Voting Rules (link)

*Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required) (link)

*Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas (link)

*League of Women Voters’ Online Voters Guide (link)

October 20, 2006

Two Realities in the City of Dallas

On Thursday night, CBS ran a story titled City Of Dallas Experiencing Economic Boom (link).

I beg to differ. Just because sales at NorthPark Mall are up and a few people in southern Dallas can buy a new house doesn’t mean much.

The article boasted of people buying million-dollar condos and the like. For sport, one non-rich person was thrown in as a new homeowner.

The reality is that a lot of new homes are bought by people that turn them into Section 8 houses. Trust me, I know. They’ll be packaged in a year or two and sold in blocks to future slumlords. Other than Unity Estates in Oak Cliff, most of these new developments do not have HOAs (Homeowner Associations) and it shows. Many are crime ridden before they even sell out to new homeowners.

We have large-scale slumlord complexes such as Chaucer Village (link), Canterbury Village (link), and Broadmoor (link) where the good citizens live like prisoners. These slumlords rent to anyone breathing no matter what criminal record they have to increase occupancy rates and then re-sell the complexes at a profit to buyers who don’t care about renter safety.

Then the story touts the low unemployment numbers. I have always looked at unemployment numbers as total b.s. Everyone knows that those numbers are based on who is actually filing. How many people exist whose benefits have run out or have just given up on getting unemployment? Thousands.

We have a County Commissioner that has abandoned the southern sector of Dallas for his new friends in Desoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster. The Justice of the Peace court is overcrowded with people that can’t afford to pay tickets and citations. The Inland Port is nice but it doesn’t mean a damned thing to a senior citizen that is living behind burglar bars and can’t afford to pay her electric bill.

The only new community grocery store that I know about is Chi’s Grocery at Denley and Morrell (link) . Instead of a plaque someone should buy him an M-16 to protect his store.

There seems to be no limit to the amount of high-income property that can be built between downtown Dallas and Preston Hollow. If that’s your definition of a comeback I guess Big D is booming.

I guess it depends on which side of the river you live. I know that if you exit I-45 or I-35 anywhere south of I-30 in Dallas there is a different reality. Drive on Corinth Street, Sunnyvale, Ledbetter, or on Martin Luther King boulevard and tell me where “Big D is booming.”

Come take a ride with me…I’ll show you the other side of Dallas.