Archive for the ‘City’ Category

Recruiting Companies to Dallas – The One that Got Away

April 10, 2010
In difficult financial times, a city must still remain active and be successful with respect to getting companies to relocate and add dollars to our tax base.
This is one of the primary strengths of our current Mayor, Tom Leppert.  Since he became Mayor, many companies looking to move from various parts of the country now call Dallas home.  Texas has many pluses that make us more attractive when compared to other states (lower cost of living, pro-business attitude, etc), but you still need leadership that can close the deal when it’s on the table (kind of like the fine gent in the picture on the right).
One big fish that got away nearly ten years ago was Boeing. Dallas was a finalist for their relocation, but they ended up in Chicago.  In the following piece on the DMN Frisco blog (h/t Rudy Bush of the DMN), former Boeing CEO Phil Condit talks about many of the factors that cause Dallas to lose out of on a major relocation. Check it out.

Owner of Oak Cliff Apartment Complex Sees Nothing Wrong with Mold, Drug Baggies, and Unhealthy Apartments

March 14, 2010
This article is in today’s Dallas Morning News. Read for yourself.
The blog Katy’s Exposure also says what I already know, having lived in an apartment with mold.

And regarding the skin rashes from the carpet, that is from the mold coming from the vents.

The reasoning that such conditions are OK just because it’s Section 8 housing has nothing to do with the interior quality in the apartments. Nobody is asking the owner to put a fountain or media room in the middle of the complex. You take the government money to provide safe housing for lower-income people.  That means the outside environment should be safe as well as the inside.  In addition to mold, I have lived places with termites, roaches pouring out of crevices, rats, mice, and other issues.  I was blessed to be able to move; everyone is not. 
This article disgusts me. Poor people deserve to live without mold, drug baggies all over, and leaking walls. This owner should be ashamed of himself, but obviously he is not.

This is a front page article in the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News; it doesn’t get much bigger than that. Hopefully some elected official reads this article and does something about it. It’s obvious that the owner could care less.

Bishop Larry McGriff – Funeral Information

February 23, 2010

RIP Bishop Larry D. McGriff

February 18, 2010

For those that have not heard, Bishop Larry McGriff had a brain aneurysm and stroke overnight and passed away this morning. He was recently married to Dr. Karen Hollie, the pastor of Lifeway Church and a columnist at the Elite News.

I still can’t believe Bishop McGriff is gone. He was a great pastor and love to sing with the choir, but he truly loved doing God’s work “outside the walls.”
From toy giveaways to helping people get jobs, he did so much that people will never know. He was a driving force in rallying the community to help us close multiple hot-sheet hotels, and he brought teens to City Hall to participate in Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway’s Teen Summits.
If you rode anywhere with him and he hopped out of his car, especially at a store or somewhere like that, people would run up to the car to say hello or ask for some help. It didn’t matter if you were homeless, formerly incarcerated, or just down on your luck, you had a friend in Bishop McGriff.
I always jokingly called him my “surrogate uncle” because he treated me so well and I looked up to him a lot. He never asked me for anything, other than to keep him abreast of what we were trying to clean up in the community.
When you drive down Lancaster and look across from the VA Hospital, you can see Bishop’s work. Those motels are dust! Ironically, today, I saw the 3-D model for the development that will go on the land where the Sunset Motel and Southern Comfort Motel once stood and plagued the community.
Notice that the news heading in one of the videos below says “into the sunset.” How appropriate.
For the most part no more stories will be done on this blog for a while. I can’t imagine anything meaning more than this right now.
RIP Bishop McGriff. Thank you for everything. I would not be where I am without him. To a pastor that had the guts to step out on behalf of the community, you are already missed.
I’m glad I got to say goodbye. I found a few videos of him and I wanted to share them with you. Please pray for him and his family.

If you ever went to Church of the Living God, you heard this song:

Sunset Motel will be Closed – May 2007 (closed and demolished)

Southern Comfort Motel is on Notice – July 2007 (closed and demolished)

UPDATE: Frisco City Council Approves Affordable Housing Support

February 17, 2010

Last night, Frisco City Council voted 4-1 to support developer applications for affordable housing within the city.  This is a follow-up to the story I wrote about a few days ago.

The projects still have be be approved for tax-credits by the State’s housing agency.

NBA All-Star Weekend had Dallas Rocking

February 15, 2010

The headline to this post says it all.  More than 108,000 people attended the game.  Even more importantly,  the game brought approximately $150 million into the area.

Arlington may have hosted the game, but Dallas owned the weekend.  Despite the weather, the crowds hit the streets of Downtown and other areas.

On Saturday night, the city center was jam packed from 8pm on.  Downtown Dallas was rocking.

Even farther north there were many events filled to capacity.  Kenichi, Trece, Go Fish, and Hibashi had daytime events and a couple were closed off by the fire marshal because they were so packed. You heard right, daytime parties.  They started at 12, ended around 6pm.

The Erykah Badu/Jamie Foxx concert at the Palladium on Saturday? Filled to capacity.

Northpark was packed like it was Christmas Eve for four days straight. Ditto Galleria.

There was some traffic-related frustration, and yes a couple of Dallas’ finest could’ve been more polite with their requests to our visitors but overall they did a great job. Dallas has never hosted an event like this. Texas-OU and other major events don’t compare to All-Star weekend.

By 4am, the streets were clear except for a traffic accident near the Farmers’ Market on Saturday.

Everybody was spending money. This is what All-Star Weekend was about. And all of those who predicted Armageddon because it was an urban event, I am more that happy to say you’ve been disappointed.

I just hope we don’t have to wait 24 years to host our next All-Star game.

DART Plans and Security Plans for All-Star Weekend

February 12, 2010
I hope everyone has a great time in Dallas for NBA All-Star weekend and our city shines like we know it can.  I wanted to pass along some items which may be of interest regarding street operations downtown and DART Rail service.
Street Restrictions and Operations
All parking meters on Main Street will be hooded and no meter parking will be allowed through Sunday.
On Friday night from 6pm-3am, access to Main Street will be restricted to residents needing access to their homes, limos, and taxi drivers. Drivers may be asked to show IDs or resident parking passes.
There will be no parking allowed on Main St. Please use Elm or Commerce.
DPD is prepared to shut down Main Street as needed over the weekend. It is recommended that you avoid Main Street if at all possible.
DART and All-Star Weekend Train Service
(link to DART’s All-Star Weekend info)

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person working on this issue, but from the media exposure, concerned council people and others DART will be run trains from downtown until 3am-325am depending on the line. A week ago they were going to stop at 12:30am, which would have caused headaches for Downtown Dallas.
A lot of progress was made and now we have a more reasonable service plan for this weekend.
A special shout goes to Councilwoman Linda Koop, the head of the City Council’s Transportation Committee for her assistance, as well as various officials at DART.
As I mentioned to fellow city officials and other interested parties, we also need things to run smoothly for reasons larger than this event. As Dallas is trying to attract larger events, good PR from our train service would go a long way. Conversely, no one wants the opposite to happen. The eyes of the tourism and business worlds will all be on Dallas for a weekend, and we all want to see the city shine like we know it can and will with everyone’s help.

Low-Income People can Live in Frisco, too

February 12, 2010

The fantastic Candy Evans at D Magazine’s Dallas Dirt brings us a story about opposition to a mixed-income housing development in Frisco because some of the residents will use Section 8 vouchers.

Like Candy writes, “working folks need to live somewhere and Frisco businesses complain they can’t find enough employees who want to drive in from more affordable areas.”   Stacy Brown (Frisco’s Housing and Grants administrator) states in the clip, “to grow with our businesses, we need those workers. We need them to be able to come here. Otherwise, we can’t staff our restaurants, hotels, retail.”

I couldn’t agree with them more.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video.

In addition, it’s not a low-income housing community.  It’s mixed income with some of the residents using Section 8 vouchers. 

For the gentleman in opposition in the news clip: the people that you’re so scared of are already in the city.  There the ones working in the Target and other stores near Stonebriar. Keep worrying about pre-conceived fears you’ve read about, your precious suburb will be just fine.  However, I think this might be more of a threat to your property values in Frisco.

Love Field, New Children’s Aquarium, and more

January 31, 2010

There are several interesting briefings coming to City Council this week.

There are a few things that stand out from reading these briefings.

Dallas Love Field Capital Development Program – Public Information Initiative

There is a $500 million modernization of Love Field currently underway. This briefing talks about the Public Information Approach that the city is using.

FY2009-10 Community Development Block Grant Extensions and Reprogramming

According to page 13 of the FY2009-10 Community Development Block Grant Extensions and Reprogramming briefing, there is still a good amount of money in the Minor Home repair program for the South Dallas/Fair Park area.  Here is the info on how to apply.

OneDAY Dallas
We are one month away from citywide implementation of OneDAY Dallas. OneDAY Dallas is the name of the initiative to collect garbage and recycles on the same day.  This is a great idea, and it will save the city money.  Most trash consists of recyclable materials, and landfill space is a finite resource.
One thing that was interesting in the briefing is the Southern Dallas council districts are requesting a recycling roll carts at a much lower rate

Districts that are primarily southern are in bold

District 1 41%    District 6 40%*    District 11 74%

District 2 51%     District 7 32%      District 12 79%

District 3 46%    District 8 27%      District 13 75%

District 4 29%    District 9 65%       District 14 78%

*District 6 has a large portion of area in Northwest Dallas.

Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park

This briefing discusess the effort underway during which the Aquarium at Fair Park was closed and is being repurposed as the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. It will be open for a sneak preview during this year’s State Fair, and open for good in 2011.

Public Meetings to Discuss the DPD Police Chief Search

January 26, 2010
There are two neighborhood meetings left at which the City of Dallas will be gathering input from residents and business owners for the process of selecting a new police chief. Residents and business owners can also take an on-line survey.
The link to the survey is here.
The last two meetings are listed below:

January 26, 2010 (tonight)
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Beckley-Saner Recreation Center; 114 W. Hobson (map)

February 2, 2010
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Walnut Hill Recreation Center; 10011 Midway Road (map)