Archive for January, 2008

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January 31, 2008

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The Future Looks Bright

January 31, 2008

I was part of a panel for a group of UNT students tonight.

I came away very impressed by the quality of the event and the depth and thoughtfulness behind the questions we were asked by the students.

Let’s just say that the future looks bright and I feel energized that we have a great set of young people coming up behind us.

I’ll have more to write about this event in the coming days.

The Lakewood Whole Food Debate Continues

January 28, 2008

Rick Wamre and Jeff Siegel over at the Lakewood Advocate have been doing some great writing on the plan for the new Whole Foods in Lakewood. Here’s the most recent. As a plan commissioner and a Whole Foods customer I’m looking forward to hearing this case and judging it on its merits, as we always do at the CPC.

I’m sure when this deal is all said and done, there will be fingers pointed at the Plan Commission and the City Council by whichever side that didn’t win. I have no problem with that – it goes with the territory. We’re all grownups here.

In his piece, I’m glad that Rick thoughtfully mentions that the overall plan commission will “likely follow their lead” (meaning the lead of the commissioner in a given council district) instead of pushing the idea that we always vote in lockstep with other commissioners in their districts. That type of thing is often pushed by people that didn’t get their way when a case was heard by the Plan Commission. If people see the amount of time we spend on cases week in and week out, they’d know otherwise. The way it really happens is not exciting enough to move newspapers or web traffic.

Just a hint on the aspect of “following someone’s lead” It happens sometimes. When it does, it’s usually because the commissioner has spent a lot of time in their district on an issue. However, we have a ton a 9-6 and 8-7 votes on many issues. Come visit us, and that’s what you’ll see.

Sad News for Dallas Family

January 25, 2008

By now you have probably heard that the body of Lakendra Lawrence, a young lady that was missing for over a week, was found in southeast Dallas. The admitted murderer was her ex-boyfriend.

I hope and pray that her family can find some peace in the days to come.

Grow Up!

January 25, 2008

Or maybe this should be titled, brats come in all age brackets.

I read a blog post that showed that someone had registered a website suggesting a movement against Councilman Sheffie Kadane, who represents District Nine.

The registrant’s name and date of registry seems to be a response to the Councilman denying an overlay in their neighborhood earlier this week.

I always hear Sheffie being referred to as the guy that “sings Happy Birthday” at the council. What I have observed is that there is much more to the man. Sheffie is more than just mild-mannered; he is very smart guy and a class act in an area where his even hand and thoughtful actions go a long way.

I have seen the same outrageous comments at our commission, where some of these neighborhood groups accuse planners of being biased or unethical when they are simply trying to do their jobs. Some of the printed e-mails and letters we receive week in and week out are unbelievable.

I support some neighborhood overlays as a member of the City Plan Commission. In some areas, they do make sense. In some, they do not. Before you accuse me of bias, I actually supported this overlay when it came through CPC.

But really, to try to get rid of Sheffie just because an issue didn’t go your way is ridiculous. He denied the issue “without prejudice,” which means that they can come back as soon as they want with a new proposal. If he really wanted to stick it to you, he could have moved for “straight denial,” which would have made the neighborhood wait two more years.

Look at the big picture, take a deep breath, and grow up!

Have You Seen this Woman?

January 23, 2008

From the DMN:

Dallas police are seeking the public’s help in locating a 20-year-old woman who has been missing since last week. Lakendra Lawrence was last seen about 6 p.m. last Wednesday when a co-worker dropped her off at her apartment in the 3100 block of Stag Road (map) in southeast Oak Cliff, police said.

These apartments are near Bonnie View and Ledbetter, near Maynard Jackson Park.

Ms. Lawrence is black, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 125 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

She has tattoos on her back, right arm and one leg. Anyone with information can call Dallas police at 214-671-3661.

Theft has No Boundaries

January 23, 2008

In reading the crime reports, I have learned that both La Duni and the new Winspear Opera House have both been victims of theft in the last couple of days.

I talked with a prominent property owner in Dallas that said the tree grates were stolen from the front of a Borders bookstore in broad daylight.

It’s not just southern Dallas. Metal theft and break ins are occurring all over our city.

The missing link is the scrap yards. We have a great DPD scrap metal unit but they can’t be everywhere at once. Can you help?

Please contact Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Caraway’s office if you know of any scrap yards that are buying scrap illegally. Anonymity is assured. We have to put a stop to this.

Teaching Tolerance

January 21, 2008

Rod Davis of the Southern Poverty Law Center passes on some timely information to commemorate the upcoming 40th anniversary on Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

The Spring 2008 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance magazine includes a special teaching package about the civil rights leader. Check out this link for more information.

Look South for the Convention Center

January 20, 2008

Shawn Williams of Dallas South Blog continues his call for Dallas to build a new Dallas Convention Center Hotel. He continues his series with a more in-depth write up, this time to suggest that the Cedars be considered for the future hotel. Read it here.

Think Twice before You Speak

January 18, 2008

Usually I don’t talk about stuff like this, as strange public comments happen at City Plan Commission from time to time.

Yesterday, at CPC, we had a guy refer to a group of “low-income people” as “the human cockroaches of life.” At City Hall. In a public forum. A woman sitting in the crowd was very upset, and I don’t blame her one bit.

My late grandmother always said that “you have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak.” I wish the idiot that came down to our commission yesterday would’ve done just that.