Archive for November, 2007

Buy D Magazine this Month

November 27, 2007

Why? I’m in it. I wrote a feature article for the December Issue that touched on a lot of various issues, with a focus on southern Dallas.

I haven’t posted it yet; I want y’all to buy the issue. I may talk about it a little later in the week once the issue hits newsstands.

Writing on deadline is no joke. Believe me when I tell you that. Thanks to all the folks that dropped me a line regarding the article.

Also, thanks to Zac Crain at D Magazine for asking me to write the article in the first place. As with any piece a couple of lines get added; no big deal. In my humble opinion, I think it turned out pretty good.

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The Lack of Grocery Stores in Southern Dallas

November 23, 2007

Many news outlets, including the Dallas Morning News and the Observer , had articles about the lack of grocery stores in southern Dallas. My buddy Shawn Williams at Dallas Blog also had an article printed in the DMN that explored the various angle of this discussion. Larry James and Janet Morrison of CDM have also pounded the table on this issue. As you know, I also have been talking about this issue for some time, even on other blogs before Dallas Progress was started. My article in the December 2007 issue of D Magazine talks about this issue as well.

In recent days, several posters on local blogs opined on the reason for such a lack of grocery stores in the south. A couple of them had the nerve to say that “the sad reality is that poor people shoplift.” To them, I offer these stats:

*The Kroger next to Mockingbird station has 94 crimes year-to-date (Jan 1-Nov 21st).

*The Minyards in South Dallas next to Fair Park: 52 crimes year-to-date.

Some people just don’t get it… but hey that’s your opinion. I live what Dr. Berg is talking about in his recently released report, Access to Grocery Stores and Food Security in Dallas.

Fear of crime is just an excuse. The fact is we must bring the decision-making executives to southern Dallas to make change happen. The companies that have supermarkets in southern Dallas know they do a ton of business.

And contrary to some people’s ignorance, people in southern Dallas are NOT looking for handouts. We are more than willing to do our part. In fact, in District Four, we will soon be announcing a neighborhood grocery store that is investing millions to open a new business. You’ll hear about it in the next 1-2 months. Other stores are also being actively recruited.

A new day is coming. When you have the efforts of citizens combined with the political will to make change occur, a lot can be accomplished. It’s glad to see so many news outlets shining a light on this pressing issue.

Stay tuned.

Think Twice before Getting Hammered and Driving!

November 23, 2007

Thanks to everyone that linked to my posts about the life and death of Julio Alvarado, Jr. Hopefully, we’ll get some people to think twice before they have that last drink “for the road” before they get into their vehicles.

What Will be Done to Honor Julio Alvarado Jr.?

November 20, 2007

What will be done about the night-time drunk drivers in this City? Read my last couple of posts and you will see why something must be done.

I went to Julio Alvarado Jr’s funeral today; I didn’t know him but I went out of respect. It has made posting for me, right now, pointless.

To see his wife and three young kids was heartbreaking. Their Daddy is gone. A husband and a man that was apparently loved by many in his community is gone. A peewee football team doesn’t have a coach now.

Thank you to the Dallas Fire-Rescue execs who found me a seat on their row. Rightfully so, the church was packed.

At what point do we say “enough is enough?” How many lives did Julio Alvarado Jr save as a paramedic before he was killed by a drunk driver? Please honor his life by finding a way to save lives and keep families whole.

Also, please consider a donation to the Julio Cesar Alvarado, Jr. Memorial Fund
Laredo National Bank
Oak Cliff Branch at 410 W. Jefferson Blvd (map) or
Northwest Highway/Webb Chapel Branch (map)
Account Number 173220140

Julio Alvarado Jr. – Funeral Services Information

November 19, 2007

The DMN reported the info for the services of Julio Alvarado Jr, who was killed by a drunk driver over the weekend.

The viewing is scheduled Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gonzalez Funeral Home, 660 S. Zang Blvd. in north Oak Cliff. A rosary will follow at 7 p.m. at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 231 N. Marsalis Ave (map).

The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church, with burial to follow at Laurel Land Memorial Park, 6000 South R.L. Thornton Freeway.

The paper also reported that services are open to the public.

R.I.P. Julio Alvarado Jr.

November 18, 2007

There will be no more posts today in honor of Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedic Julio Alvarado Jr., who was killed overnight Saturday in Oak Cliff. He was in a fatal accident at the intersection of Cockrell Hill & Illinois in West Oak Cliff.

Julio worked out of Station 28, which is on Greenville near Forest in Lake Highlands.

Julio had a wife and three kids. And now he’s dead because of a moron that was speeding and drove drunk and hit Mr. Alvarado’s car so hard that it split in half.

Of course, the drunk driver was not injured at all. I hope they lock him under the jail.

Also please pray for Lt. Carlton Marshall, the SWAT team officer that was shot last month while serving a drug warrant. He suffered a stroke and is now paralyzed.

Another Hot-Sheet on the Hot Seat

November 17, 2007

Motel 3 in Oak Cliff will be served lawsuit papers by the City of Dallas. This hot-sheet motel is located just south of Bonnie View & Illinois (map). They were cited for running a sexually-oriented business with no license. The neighbors have also been complaining. Oh yeah, they also don’t pay their taxes.

This motel is one of the run-down places you will ever see. Prostitutes have been seen walking the streets with no shirts on, and drug dealers stand around the entrance.

Listen to the news clip carefully; you will hear the operator openly supporting prostitution.

We’ll keep you posted on the city’s actions as they try to get this long-suffering neighborhood some relief.

Designing the Trinity

November 16, 2007

I went to the Designing the Trinity conference today at City Hall. At several points, I was truly amazed.

No trinitinis for moi, but in the next few days I will tell you about some of the amazing things I saw. Dallas is realizing that the best ideas don’t always originate in Dallas. More to come.

Thank You South Oak Cliff Neighbors

November 15, 2007

On Tuesday, I attended a meeting with a neighborhood group in South Oak Cliff. We were packed into the library of one of our schools. We had a chance to talk about our new initiatives, to listen to concerns, and encourage them to stay involved.

These people have been “through it.” When say through it, I mean that their neighborhood has been held hostage by drug dealers, run-down houses, and petty criminals. I know about having to hit the floor when the gunshots go off; I did that often growing up.

Thank you to Chief Sherryl Scott and other DPD that attended, as well as Code Department head Forrest Turner and all of the folks from code. It was a joy to see them vigourously taking notes and pledging to address the problems in that area. The most uncomfortable thing in a meeting like this is to listen to these issues. Personally, I’m glad we’re uncomfortable – it shows that we have work to do and have clear marching orders to improve this neighborhood. And we will.

Forrest mentioned that thanks to Dwaine he now has the boots for the illegally-parked 18-wheelers, and will work with the transportation department and DPD to start immobilizing these vehicles that are destroying the quality of life in our district. I appreciate his frank talk about what needs to done to improve the code department.

Chief Scott has already started a drug tip hotline in her South Central Division…after two weeks on the job! Gotta love it! She is not scared to face the facts that this is a tough area, and I know she will do what’s needed to reduce crime.

I talked with one of our seniors who lost a son to gun violence near her home a couple of years ago. We will never be able to take away that mother’s pain, but what we hope to do is restore a sense of order to a neighborhood that has experienced quite a decline in the last eight years. This is where the battles for our streets are won and lost.

Today is a new day. Our team won’t settle for less than complete eradication of the problem. You can talk all day long, but this neighborhood has seen the success in other areas of the District and wants to do their part to effect change in their area. I thank the neighbors for the confidence they have placed in us to get the job done.

Demolishing Drug Houses Works

November 13, 2007

I just wanted to post an update regarding the area near the Crest Shopping Center in South Oak Cliff (link). Since the drug houses along Crest Avenue were demolished, violent crime has virtually been eliminated. The area reports one break in of a storage shed, and nothing else since the summer. Previously, the corridor was held hostage to drug houses and vagrants.

When you get rid of drug houses, crime goes down. Way down. For the naysayers, there you have it.

UPDATE: The Mayor just said tonight that at least five more drug houses will be served papers in the next few days. They are chronic offenders of drug laws and will be sued and the houses taken.