Archive for November, 2006

November 29, 2006

Stay Classy, San Diego

The Houston Chronicle reports (link) that San Diego City Council voted to ban giant retail stores.

My favorite part of the article:

Councilman Tony Young, who joined the 5-3 majority, countered, “I have a vision for San Diego and that vision is about walkable, livable communities, not big, mega-structures that inhibit people’s lives.”

I hope that the current and future Dallas City Councils take notice.

While some community and elected officials openly wish that they had a Wal-Mart in their area, I ask you to take a drive to 3155 W. Wheatland (map) and ask yourself if this is what you want in your community.

The mismanaged Wal-Mart near US-67 & Wheatland is a disaster. Their lack of selection, filthy floors and shelves, dirty parking lot, and overall lack or willingness to provide a decent shopping experience is evident. Once night falls, it simply feels unsafe. Only open for three years, the store looks like it’s been open for twenty.

I wonder if people shop there because they want to, or because they have no choice.

I’m sure this isn’t what Dallas City Council envisioned when they approved the Wal-Mart to be built.

Wal-Mart has a new urban strategy, which is called the “Wal-Mart Jobs and Opportunity Zones” initiative (link). It’s pretty simple: A little blood money gets donated to the minority Chambers of Commerce and community groups. A few contracts get doled out to keep the business community quiet. Tamp down protests, while sucking the life out of our communities. This plan has been assailed by small business groups as a PR Tactic which diverts attention from the obvious.

Austin is gearing up for a fight on December 7th. We should keep close tabs on the results. Austin’s Full Circle Group (link) aka Citizens for Responsible Corporations and Local Economies, has some interesting facts as well as a recommended list of big-box alternatives. Wake-Up Wal Mart (link) approaches Wal-Mart on a larger scale.

There will be a day that Wal-Mart comes calling to South Dallas and Pleasant Grove (although there is a Wal-Mart in Buckner Terrace at I-30 & St. Francis). I hope the residents in those neighborhoods see Wal-Mart for what they really are. A company and store that sucks the life out of communities by underpaying workers and cutting prices to the point where they have little or no competition, especially in neighborhoods where there are challenges.

I applaud anyone who wants more shopping and retail choices in their neighborhood. I’m simply asking you to aim higher in your search. Your community will benefit by looking beyond Wal-Mart to other retail alternatives.

You may think you want a Wal-Mart in your neighborhood, but you really don’t.

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November 28, 2006

Helping Picnic is also Tax-Deductible!

Skin at Quick (link) reports that the DREAM Fund has stepped in to help our homie Picnic of PPT.

Don’t forget about the fundraiser/concert on Sunday, December 3rd at DoubleWide in Deep Ellum. A ton of people are going to be performing. More info on the show is here.

November 26, 2006

Guess Who Was in the DMN Today?

I had a little write-up and pic in Sunday’s Paper. Click to get the full-size. Shouts go out to Lesley Tellez.

November 26, 2006

Scathing Report on South Dallas Apartment Complex

Scott Goldstein at the DMN writes a great article on the Summer Breeze (link), which is located neat the intersection of 175 & Hatcher (map). It’s had many names, from Southern Terrace to others.

Scott details a few things about this complex, for instance:

  • Senior Citizens without working water and gas.
  • Crackheads and thieves abound, ripping off whatever’s valuable from the buildings.
  • Only 25% of the units are occupied (60 out 230).
  • The City of Dallas has had a lawsuit pending for 2 years.

Why do these City lawsuits last so long? Why hasn’t this place been discussed by City Council? One day, when District 7 has a councilperson with guts, we’ll know the answer.

Chalk up another victory for the slumlords.

November 24, 2006

Winds of Change in South Dallas

Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer reports (link) that Hank Lawson is stepping down as the Executive Director of Southfair Community Development Corporation (link), effective January 1st. According to the article, Hank will continue to put together deals for Southfair.

Mr. Nevels was formerly the VP of Affordable Housing for the Dallas Housing Authority, and Executive Director for the Oak Cliff Development Corp back in the 90s.

Hank’s a real smart guy that really cares about the community, and Mr. Nevels will have big shoes to fill in South Dallas. We wish Hank the best of luck in whatever he decides to pursue.

November 22, 2006

Tragic Fire Hits Prominent Local Rap Group

You probably heard about the fire the other night which destroyed an apartment building in Plano (link).

One of my friends, Picnic from PPT, lost everything in that fire including his studio. PPT is the group with the hot Independent Album Tres Monos in Love, and are also behind the Dallas Mavericks Playoffs Theme Song “Rowdy Loud and Proud.”

Family supports family in times of need, and Pikahsso, Picnic, and Tahiti know I’ll always have their backs.

Pikahsso told me today that there will be a fundraiser at DoubleWide (link) on December 3rd. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

November 21, 2006

Suing Bloggers? – Not So Fast

NBC Reports that The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that bloggers and participants in Internet bulletin board groups cannot be sued for posting defamatory statements made by others. Here’s the article (link).

The Court cited Federal law that gives immunity to bloggers and their service providers. Federal law trumps all when it comes to these types of cases.

Take that Vicki Truitt!

November 21, 2006

What’s Wrong with the System – Part 89

I read this story in today’s paper:

Coppell police and the Dallas police SWAT team last week arrested a 26-year-old Dallas woman on multiple drug charges and seized weapons and an estimated $8,000 in drugs from a residence in the 11000 block of Audelia Road.

Police said they seized 47 grams of crack, 2.5 grams of cocaine, 26 grams of methamphetamine, 90 grams of marijuana, a Tech 9 automatic weapon, three handguns, drug delivery paraphernalia and $2,900 in cash. (name withheld) was arrested and charged with two first-degree felony counts of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and unlawfully carrying a weapon.

She was released from Lew Sterrett Justice Center on Saturday after posting $16,000 bail.

Look at the charges. And this person gets $16,000 bail? What exactly do you have to do to be held without bail outside of murder?

So, this person is back on the street. All of the hard work of the Dallas Police Department, and this person is out on minimum bail.

What’s wrong with this picture?

November 19, 2006

Hot-Sheet Motel for Sale

I have learned that the Sunburst Inn, located just west of I-35 and Camp Wisdom, is up for sale (map). The asking price is $1.2 million.

I think it used to be a Days Inn at one point.

It is said to be a distress sale, which is great. What is troubling is that someone may try to purchase the motel and convert it into a motel chain. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation.

Oak Cliff needs less motels. I hope the place is bought and demolished.

November 17, 2006

Easy Targets

According to many sources, Texas State Rep Vicki introduced a bill for the upcoming legislature (HR-129) that would subject bloggers to libel laws.

This is just another way to silence the little guy/gal. If only real issues were pursued with such fervor. But will they sue the Texas Monthly for their “worst legislators in Texas” list? Probably not.

We as bloggers should unite (as we often do), and “share and share alike” when it comes to Rep. Truitt.

She’s not the biggest friend of the little guy/gal, as shown in her Project Vote Smart ratings (link)

Here’s the full text of the bill (link)

Many have opinions, as I do. Here’s the rundown.

Vince at Capitol Annex (link)
* I love Vince’s quote:

Yet, while specifically extending the right to sue bloggers for defamation without also offering us the protection we deserve and are entitled to as citizen journalists (and at this time I would also call for a complete ’shield law in Texas that includes bloggers’), a disservice is done, plain and simple.

Bay Area Houston: link

In The Pink Texas: link

McBlogger: link