Thursday, August 09, 2007


Every morning just reading over the headlines of page "1A" and "1B Metro" of The Dallas Morning News reveals a great deal about life in the city. I expect it is the same in every large city.

For example, take this morning's edition on Page 1A:

"Drivers offered clean break"--seems the state is about to launch a voluntary program that would pay auto owners up to $3,500 for every pre-1996 car "retired." The payment would come in the form of a voucher that could be used in purchasing a new or late model car, with the most benefit going to those who choose hybrids. Seems the state is very concerned about air quality in Dallas. No debate about smog and low air quality in our community. As always with major health issues, this one hits the poor, the elderly and the young the hardest.

"Split of 911 center sought"--the City of Dallas is planning to divide the responsibilities at our local 911 center. I didn't know it, but the current center handles both 911 emergency calls and 311 public concern calls not of an emergency nature. Surprise to me! All this time I thought real emergencies were handled apart from complaints about weeds and code compliance. Hmmm. Surely this will improve response times to life-threatening situations. I wonder if that will be the case in the heart of our city?

"More bucks for the bang"--Thanks to growing demand and several other factors, the price of ammunition in Dallas is on the rise. This could be a good thing. You know supply and demand and cost containment. Makes me wonder though, how many of the people I'll meet today will be "packing heat"?

"County by county, Hispanics take lead"--Not really a surprise here. The population of Hispanic folks across the state is rising and surpassing the number of Anglos across the state of Texas. For the first time Hispanics outnumber non-Hispanic whites in Dallas County. Hmmm. Could this be related to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment we are witnessing across the nation? (See story about Farmers Branch from Metro section below.)

"Bridge flaw may lie in steel plates"--The collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis last week may have been the result of a design flaw in the original construction. States were urged to take care in the amount of weight to be placed on bridges during repair operations. Our decaying national transportation infrastructure needs some attention, don't you think?

On page 1B of the Metro section:

"FB gets ready for legal showdown over ban"--Now that a federal court has ruled against municipal governments requiring landlords to demand proof of "legal" status from potential tenants or entering into any aspect of regulating national immigration policy, the city of Farmers Branch, Texas is seeking legal counsel from the Strasburger & Price law firm here in Dallas to led an appeal effort. Likely will cost them a bundle. To date the city has either spent or budgeted a total of $1,286,613. So far, the city has received donations in support of the effort totaling $39,448. Wonder how much the city has lost in sales tax revenue with the departure of Hispanic/Latino consumers? (See front page story above about the growth of the Hispanic population in Texas. Reckon there's a connection between the two stories?)

"Journal's recovery could ease grief"--Steve Blow's column about a visitor to Dallas from Minnesota who suffered from bipolar disease. His very unpleasant experience shines a light on our complicated city and one American family.

"Main Street makeover"--The city is creating a park right in the middle of Downtown (1.75 acres). Commerce, Harwood, Main and St. Paul will never be the same again. Grass, trees and "green space" will replace concrete, parking structures and old buildings.

"Gas delivery firm linked to 2nd fire"--A recent fire and freeway-closing explosion is linked to a company whose delivery of similar products caused a fire in the Houston area on Tuesday of this week. The incident in Dallas sounded like a war zone! You never know what is going to happen next around here!

Cities are complicated places. Interesting places.

Of course, woven throughout all the stories, and yet so often forgotten, are ordinary people who are in fact the only point.


Frank Bellizzi said...

About the bridge story: I noticed that when we were first hearing the news from MN, reporters wondered out loud about "a possible terrorist connection." Of course that's understandable. But it's interesting how things feel different when there's no enemy out there for us to go after. The poor condition of the physical infrastructure in this country will likely be the source of most disasters we see in the future.

Larry James said...

You are right, Frank! Wonder how many good jobs would be created if the nation set out to repair, restore and expand our infrastructure?

Justin said...

The government has the money all ready.

But its a lot better for a politician to come up with a new pet project he can cut a ribbon for than to repair stuff that's old.

Its why MN spent a ton of their transportation budget on a commuter rail that no one is riding.

chris said...


Rush said the same thing! You are right on target.