Archive for December, 2006

December 31, 2006

Looking Back on 2006

Many irreplaceable people were lost this year. You can never have a comprehensive list of people, but I chose a few folks that inspired me the most:

Coretta Scott King

Over 900 members of the Armed Forces

Casha’e Rivers – a 5-year old girl in Philadelphia caught in the crossfire of drug dealers (link).

Dorwin Robinson – killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time in Oak Cliff (link). Dorwin died the same day he found his first job. This crime is still unsolved. Read the comments to my post about Dorwin to get a sense that nothing has changed in that neighborhood in the months after his death.

The young mother that was killed in February at Lancaster-Kiest Shopping Center while trying to rescue family members from a boy with a gun inside of Cici’s Pizza (link).

Ed Bradley

James Brown

Gordon Parks

The people that I mentioned inspire me to keep fighting to better this City. I choose to honor their memories, and to never fold in the face of corruption, cowardice, and negligence by many parties that ignore what is happening in Dallas.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on all of the people that passed on in 2006.

December 31, 2006

Hollow Points

I’ve heard a lot of news articles proclaim that crime is down in Dallas compared to last year. Dallas had 11 less murders this year (183 in 2006 vs. 194 in 2005).

Yes, from a statistical standpoint, crime may be down in some areas. But in many areas, no one feels safer. Parts of Oak Cliff, South Dallas, and Pleasant Grove still feel as dangerous as ever. The bad guys aren’t stupid. Criminals know that the police are undermanned, and they know that no one will expose their dirty deeds in the neighborhoods in which they operate.

The Dallas Police Department is doing the best that they can to reduce crime. But they don’t always get the support that they need. Citizens must stand up. Stop protecting killers, drug dealers, and pedophiles in your neighborhoods.

It’s going to take a united front on all sides to make all parts of Dallas a safer place to live.

December 28, 2006

Dangerous Stray Dogs in Dallas

David Schechter of Channel 8 did an excellent series of stories on stray pit bulls and other dangerous dogs that are terrorizing Oak Cliff, South Dallas, and Pleasant Grove. Community Activist and District 4 Dallas City Council Candidate (and my client) Dwaine Caraway (link) was featured in the story, and took David on a tour of Oak Cliff. This is what many of us experience on a daily basis.

See for yourself. Check the story (here) and video (here).

December 28, 2006

Oak Cliff Road Construction

A lot of people have been wondering what is going on near 67 & Loop 12. The bridge at 67 & Five Mile Creek is being demolished and rebuilt.

This from TxDot:

The structure is located on the northbound frontage road of US 67 at Five Mile Creek. The bridge replacement project costs more than $736,000.

“We are replacing the bridge because it is structurally deficient,” said Michael Bostic, P.E., the area engineer of the Texas Department of Transportation’s Southwest Dallas County Area Office. “Since erosion is occurring underneath the bridge and in the channel, we decided that the structure should be removed and rebuilt.”

Crews will spend more than 200 working days taking out the existing bridge and replacing it with a new, stronger bridge. During the project, the northbound frontage road of US 67 at Five Mile Creek will be closed to traffic.

Motorists traveling on the frontage road must detour by turning right at Loop 12 and then left at Polk Street. Motorists will then continue north on Polk Street back to the northbound US 67 frontage road.

The bridge replacement job is scheduled to complete in August 2007.

December 26, 2006

Albertson’s in Oak Cliff Closing

No, it’s not the one I talked about last week. This is the store in the West Cliff Shopping Center at Hampton and Ledbetter (map). According to the Dallas Examiner, this store was a late addition to the list of store closings that are occurring all over Dallas.

I shopped there on a few occasions. As I have mentioned in previous articles, this store was doomed to fail due to extremely overpriced merchandise, spotty service, and doing things that are outright unwelcoming like putting basic items like batteries under lock and key. To my knowledge and experience Albertson’s was the only store to have such asinine policies and it only occurred at this location.

Albertson’s lease expires on December 31st.

The company claims to be working hard to market the store and get it leased to a new tenant. I wouldn’t hold my breath, considering that previously closed stores at 67 & Polk and Wheatland & Westmoreland have been mothballed for some time.

December 26, 2006

My Favorite T-Shirt of the Week

December 20, 2006

Midweek Rant

I went to the Pegasus News party last night. Much love to Alan & Mike for being comped. Shouts out to Jeremy, Blair, Erin (sp?), and everyone else I talked to last night. Great band, plus I love hanging out with my people. Win win. I wish I could’ve stayed longer. Be careful if my homie Mike Orren gives you a gently used Santa hat for Christmas.

Must Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News keep writing the same article? I swear I’ve seen the same tired “insights” about the Mayor’s race in his column at least 4 times in the last 6 weeks. Does he have more than 3 people to quote? Are we a major market or is this some college town outpost where newsflashes come in via morse code? I guess that’s better than him salivating over young interns on their blog and writing garbage like this and this.

The DMN was scooped weeks ago by Shawn Williams at DallasSouthBlog regarding the clsoing of Black Images. Left out, of course, was Shawn’s social insight on the plight of independent bookstores. We may talk in future weeks about how plans for the demolition of Wynnewood Village (home of Black Images) probably contributed to their demise and will cause gentrification in that area.

Most news shows still call everything south of I-30 ‘South Dallas.’ Please get a clue. And a Mapsco.

I still believe that there are many people out there that don’t respect the power of the young voter. I do. Let’s keep proving them wrong.

If you haven’t heard, the Albertson’s at Hampton & Davis is closing. From what I’ve heard, not many people will notice. It joins the still-mothballed store at 67 & Polk, among others. Oak Cliff People had a great editorial talking about how the store had issues from day one. Surprised much?

Perry Homes’ new townhomes near Bishop Arts are hideous, I don’t care what anyone says.

Pinnacle Park, located at I-30 & Chalk Hill Road, is NOT the southern sector. It’s West Dallas. I’m sick of people pointing to that place and calling it “southern sector development.”

That’s all…for now.

December 17, 2006

Larry James and Helping Dallas’ Homeless

There is a troubling attitude that has been bubbling and has boiled over in the past couple of weeks. There is a strong dislike for all programs that help the homeless and articles about Larry’s various plans have been met by many with various levels of hatred. Newsflash: The homeless you hate so much are already in your neighborhood.

You can see the animosity toward the poor in some of the comments made towards Larry James, CDM, and CityWalk in the past couple of weeks. It seems to me that a lot of people don’t give a damn about the homeless, as long as they don’t have to look at them.

Too many times, people don’t want to see or admit that Dallas has a homeless problem. Homelessness has been a epidemic in America for the last 20 years. And yes, if you haven’t noticed it’s a problem in Dallas too.

As I have said time and time again (link), Larry and CDM are using methods that have been proven nationwide to reduce homelessness and bring people together. Most of Larry’s big projects are focused on people that don’t want to be on the street, but need a safe place to sleep and gain normalcy in their lives.

Miami had an absurdly dangerous homeless problem in the 80s and 90s; to call it problematic would be an understatement. Guess how they helped to reduced the problem? A comprehensive plan buoyed by programs and facilities like CityWalk at Akard.

I once saw a news story about a homeless guy who wanted to work, but couldn’t get a decent job but had no mailing address. You have to have some sort of physical address to apply for a job. And how exactly is he going to get dressed and prepare to be interviewed if he can’t clean up? Think about that the next time you hate on a project like CityWalk.

Many people that are homeless do get Social Security or VA benefits, but that isn’t enough to get a decent place to live unless you want to be in one of those crime-ridden $299/month complexes that are all over Dallas. I’m sick of saying this but I’ll say it again…CITYWALK IS NOT A HOMELESS SHELTER!

The first step is admitting that Dallas has a homeless problem. The next step is to use your brainpower and research similar projects like CityWalk to see if they’re successful. The homeless situation needs work, and it’s going to get fixed if the detractors leave people like Larry Davis alone and let him work on his mission.

December 17, 2006

Random Thoughts

With all of the things we’re fighting out here, someone asked me if I have any fun at all…

Of course I do. I like to do the same stuff as everyone else: hang out, clown with my people, etc etc. I don’t really shut the club down anymore because I did that in my early 20s. I’ll leave that to the young ones out here.

I’ve always been the type to know a lot of people but not hang with a bunch of people…that’s me. Some people say I look 25 but I act 50. That’s cool…we just have a lot of work to do in this city.

When you grow up listening to PE, Frank Sinatra, and Al Green you tend to be a little different.

Now when you see me at City Hall, it’s usually game time so I get into my zone..but other than that I’m just a regular dude trying to make a difference in this world.

December 13, 2006

Go Ciro, It’s Your Birthday!

If you hadn’t heard, Ciro Rodriguez won his election for TX-23. This is the district that was redrawn by Tom Delay and crew and then redrawn again after the Courts ruled in favor of complaints regarding previous said redistricting. The district stretches from San Antonio south to the Mexican border and almost to El Paso in the west.

I had to give kudos to my blogger colleages in the Lone Star State like Eileen at InThePinkTexas, Capitol Annex, Burnt Orange Report, BayAreaHouston, PinkDome, and all of the others. I know a lot of you are going to kill me for leaving out your site, my apologies!!! Drop me a line anytime.

You all really focused in when no one gave you a chance. I believe that you all, along with the great citizens of that district, held it down until the national people stepped in to keep the fight going.

Furthermore, you showed that political blogs in Texas are a FORCE to be reckoned with. Take a bow!