Archive for August, 2008

To a Man, and Thank You Veterans

August 31, 2008

Today would have been the 60th birthday of my uncle, Walter Plummer.

My Uncle served his country in the United States Army after being drafted into the Vietnam War after graduating high school. He was one of those servicemen who lived a full life but picked up Agent Orange symptoms 20+ years later, and died after a brief bout with cancer.

“Pie” was a prison guard in the Philadelphia Prison system. When I was a kid, I used to ride shotgun with him on many occasions. He made a point of taking me to the jail with him to pick up his check, and what I heard behind that big red prison door made me make sure that I never did anything to become a resident.

Pie was never really into watching sports or anything like that, he was just a great man who provided an excellent example as a role model. His funny sayings and words of wisdom live with me to this day, like those of my parents.

Thank you to our Armed Forces. Like my Uncle, your dedication to this country makes it possible to us to pursue our hopes and dreams.

Barack Obama Nomination Highlights

August 29, 2008

Last night, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Watch the video of this historic event:

Bloggers at the DNC

August 26, 2008

While the major network coverage is all over the convention, keep in mind that there are many bloggers (some from this area) that are covering the convention in Denver. Here are the links to some of my blogger friends. Check them out!

Shawn Williams – Dallas South

Janet Morrison – Janet Morrison’s Community Dialogue

African American Political Pundit

Jeff Strater – Denver Bound Blog

Jack & Jill Politics

Electronic Village

Black Women in Europe

Unsolved Murders

August 24, 2008

Scott Goldstein at the DMN is heading up a news series that talks about unsolved killings in our area. The most recent is about Philip Washington, whom you may remember as the money courier that was ambushed in January. It’s definitely worth a read. Last week’s story detailed the murder of Alexander Nicholson, a gospel music company owner who was robbed and killed in his Cedar Crest home in Oak Cliff. Here’s the link to the cold-case series.

The Future Vice President

August 23, 2008

As predicted…

Check out the speeches from earlier today in Springfield, Illinois.

The future Pres, VP, and their wives.

My Prediction for Obama’s VP

August 22, 2008

Senator Joe Biden from Delaware.

Dark horse: Tim Kaine, Governor of Virginia.

I hope Barack announces today. Shouts to all of my friends heading to Denver for the convention. There are too many to list.

Help Dallas Police Lt. Carlton Marshall and his Family

August 21, 2008

I can’t believe it’s been more than 10 months since I first wrote about the tragic shooting that almost cost DPD Lt. Carlton Marshall his life. Lt. Marshall served this city for decades, the least we can do to honor his service is to help him and his family get a proper home that will support his care and recovery.

A criminal’s bullet almost took his life in the line of duty, and while he survived he now needs constant care and a home that will meet his needs.

Thanks to my buddy Mike Orren at PegasusNews for the heads up for this e-mail.

The e-mail reads as follows:

Folks at the police department sent us this touching missive seeking our help in getting a local police couple a much-deserved chance at getting on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition (slightly edited for clarity):

I am writing everyone asking for your assistance for one of our own. It has been 9 months (October 17, 2007 to be exact); since DPD Lt. Carlton Marshall was struck by a bullet while serving a Narcotics Search Warrant. Carlton is the husband of our very own Officer Susan Marshall. Susan and Carlton have faced many setbacks throughout his healing process that included Meningitis, Blood Clots, Stroke, hearing loss, and partial paralysis which has left him in a wheelchair.

Carlton has recently been released to go home and still attends many hours of therapy each day becoming stronger in effort to one day gain full mobility.

For those of you that do not know, Susan and Carlton live in Lancaster in an older home. In light of the modifications needed (ie:larger hall ways, door frames, accessibility of everyday things, including areas to play with his children; and of course physical therapy areas), I nominated the Marshall’s for an ABC Extreme Home Makeover.

All of the documentation that ABC required was sent in June of 2008; but this is a long process and the application said it could take months. Susan has recently received an e-mail that indicated the Extreme Home Makeover is in the DFW metroplex and is looking for “hometown heroes” deserving of such an opportunity.

You will need to e-mail the producers to nominate the Marshalls. I am asking that each one of us find the time to send an e-mail supporting Susan and Carlton and nominate them for the Extreme Home Makeover.

Congrats to Cedar Vista

August 19, 2008

Rudy Bush at the DMN reports that the Cedar Vista neighborhood, which is located just north of I-20 & Cedar Ridge in Southwest Dallas, has gotten a victory regarding the “moonscape.”

In short, the trees were cleared for a high-end SFR development, never replaced, and the bank foreclosed on the property. They call it the moonscape, because it literally looks like the surface of the moon. You can view the moonscape here on Google Maps (satellite view).

This has been chronicled by the DMN, the Oak Cliff Tribune, and others. The decision was made at the Board of Adjustment to require the bank to keep the original agreement to transfer land to the Parks Dept and plant trees as the houses get built.

The Cedar Vista neighborhood has been in front of the City Plan Commission on several occasions, and I always admired their determination. I’m glad they won this case, which they have been working on for quite some time.

A Busy Week at City Hall

August 17, 2008

There are a few things coming up this week at City Hall which are interesting.

The Convenience Store Crime Ordinance is presented to the Public Safety Committee. Channel 8 News reports on this. I have written about convenience store crime as well as this ordinance in the past. The Task Force has done a great job in tackling this issue.

There is an update on ‘No Refusal DWI Patrols.’ Another effort is planned for Labor Day weekend.

Reunion Arena should be demolished by the end of 2009. Actual demo will take about 9 months. The city is continuing to look at the option of refurbishing the Dallas Convention Center Arena to compete with smaller venues like Nokia for concerts and other events.

The housing committee looks at “Permanent Supportive Housing,” which focuses on housing the homeless throughout the various council districts.

More after the jump.

Convenience Store Crime Task Force
As we meet with convenience store owners in the district, many of them claim to be powerless at getting rid or crime. Some have said that they are scared to call 911 because they are by themselves. In the past, because the store is technically “private property” DPD has not been able to issue Criminal Trespass warnings.

There are certain parts of this new ordinance that permit the police to address the issue of people hanging around the store and looking for trouble.

Definition of Convenience Store:
Primarily engaged in the retail sale of convenience goods
and/or gasoline and less than 10,000 square feet of retail
floor space.

1. Registration of Convenience Stores
– Must register with Dallas Police Department (no registration fee).

2. Surveillance Camera System (18 month grace period)
3. Video Recording and Storage (18 month grace period)
24 hour operation, minimum 30 day retention

4. Alarm System (18 month grace period)
– Silent panic or holdup alarm; Signage and permit required

5. Drop Safe (18 month grace period)
– Bolted to floor, Signage required
6. Security Signs and Height Markers
– No Trespassing/No Soliciting
– Height markers

7. Visibility (reduced window clutter per the new sign ordinance)

8. Employee Safety
– Employee safety training program, approved by DPD

9. Criminal Trespass (CT) Affidavit Program
– Chronic offenders
– Mandatory

HOAs Gone Wild

August 15, 2008

This is actually about Frisco, but it’s so absurd I couldn’t resist writing about it. The headline on the news story says it all.

“HOA says man’s pickup is not classy enough”

Here’s more:

The notice says: “Mr. Greenwood, you’re violating a subdivision rule that prohibits pickup trucks in your driveway.”

Stonebriar HOA board members changed its rules, allowing several luxury trucks, including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Honda Ridgeline and Lincoln Mark LT.

But most Ford, Dodge or Chevy pickups are still not allowed on driveways overnight.

You read that right: the Homeowners Association acutally exempted certain high-end pickups from the rules. HOAs can be a great thing, if managed properly and reasonably in its treatment of homeowners. But when and guy can’t park his F-150 in his own driveway, that’s a bit much.