Friday, September 28, 2007

DART Police

Today at 3:45 p.m. I was opening the door to my office and noticed a DART police car(#2916) at the corner of Ervay and Commerce by Neiman Marcus. I was curious because there are NO DART bus stops at that corner. Upon further investigation, I saw the officer talking to a homeless man who appeared to have some problems. Then a second DART police car (#2771) pulled up and another (#2775) pulled up. In each car was one officer. It appeared that they were arresting the homeless person.

My question and concern is why was the DART police arresting a homeless person and he was not on their property. The people that ride DART would love to see 3 officers at the transit center, on the train, or patrolling DART parking lots. When will DART get it. DART police should be protecting DART property,safety and security would bring more riders to DART. They should not be harassing the homeless.

Mychal Bell - Jena Teen

Some say that protest are relics of the 1950's an 1960's, and they do not work anymore. Thank God that there are some who rebuke that notion and found their way to Jena Louisiana to rally on behalf of the the Jena 6. For that reason I believe that Mychal Bell was released from jail and will not be on trial as an adult.

The blessing about this protest, the young people got involved. Mothers and Fathers were taking their sons and daughters to Jena to participate and that was a blessing. The churches also got involved. If the ministry is only inside the church walls and on Sunday, we loose. Thank God for waking his people up. Remember we can not tolerate injustice anywhere.

Now Mychal Bell will be tried in juvenile court - he was 16 at the time of the incident- where the offense should have been handled in the first place.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Trinity River Project

The debate over a Toll Road in the middle of the Trinity River between the levee is raising a great deal of concern in the Southern Sector of Dallas. The majority of the elected officials have all gotten behind the idea of this Toll Road in the middle of the Park to be used as a reliever road from HWY 183 to HWY 175. The majority of the people using the Toll Road will not be people who live and pay taxes in Dallas, they will be people who live in the suburbs. The Dallas Voters signed a petition to have this referendum put on the ballot on November 6, 2007 so they can decide if they want a Toll Road in the middle of the Trinity Park.

While the debate has continued to heat up, there are several issues that have not been answered by Mayor Leppert and the elected officials that support the Toll Road:

1. Where will the water that usually fill the Trinity go?
2. What is economic development for ethnic minorities?
3. How will bringing 100,000 more cars to the area affect the air quality?
4. Why not invest more in mass transit?
5. Will there be waivers from the post Katrina standards from the Army Corp?
6. How will the Toll Road affect neighborhood flooding (creeks)?
7. Why give away 1/2 billion in land to NTTA?
8. Who will pay for all of the parks amenities that are not funded?
10. If you double deck Industrial, what property would you buy?

Monday, September 24, 2007

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Tell Congress: Stand Up to Bush

At a recent press conference, President Bush said he would veto expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and accused SCHIP supporters of trying to "score political points."

The fight over children's health isn't about chalking up political points. It's about making sure millions of children have access to secure, quality health care.

The House will vote Tuesday on legislation to insure 4 million more children by expanding SCHIP. We need a strong bipartisan show of support for the bill to demonstrate to Bush just how isolated he is on this issue.

The bill's opponents argue that the current program should merely be extended--but not expanded.

But because of a big increase in uninsured children in the United States, a simple extension of SCHIP would mean more children than ever would go without doctor visits and medications. With nearly 9 million uninsured children in this country now, we should be doing more to reach them, not less.

It's time Bush's allies stood up to him.

As Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) said of a "yes" vote on SCHIP: "It shows that, if [members of Congress] feel strongly about something, they are willing to stand up to the president and tell him."

LaHood is onto something--the American people want Congress to defy Bush. In a recent poll, 64 percent of voters disagreed with the president's decision to veto SCHIP expansion.

They must know something Bush doesn't--the SCHIP program works and is worth expanding.

Thanks to the program, the number of uninsured children of low-income families has dropped by nearly one-third in a decade. But those gains are in peril as the number of uninsured children jumped to 8.7 million in 2006-an increase of 1 million in just two years.

We need SCHIP expansion more than ever before.

Tell your representative today to deny political cover to Bush, and instead cover 4 million uninsured children:

SCHIP--House Vote - Take Action Page

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Congressperson


Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Fight for Children, Not Bush

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

The time is now for Congress to deliver legislation to the president to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

I urge you to support the final SCHIP reauthorization bill to bring coverage to at least 4 million more uninsured children. The legislation needs strong, bipartisan support to bypass the Bush veto threat.

A mere extension of the program is insufficient--it will leave millions of eligible children without coverage.

Congress must stand with children, not the president, and support a strong SCHIP bill that gets children the health care they need.

Sincerely,

JOYCE FOREMAN

Weekly Thought

It is amazing what can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jena Louisiana

I am sorry that I could not be in Jena Louisiana for the march that took place on yesterday, but I am glad there was such a strong showing from Dallas and that Pastor Tyrone Gordon journeyed to Jena with four buses from St. Luke. It was especially good to see so many young people taking the trip with their parents or other people who experienced racial segregation. Too often our young people think that they have all of the answers and haven't even begun to understand the problems that permeates throughout our community and this country.

I did attend the service at my church, St. Luke "Community" United Methodist on Wednesday evening and had the opportunity to pray for the Jena 6, all of the people of Jena Louisiana and the people making the trip. One person that I spoke with was Alva Baker who had her two children with her at the rally and she informed me that that would be taking the trip with her.

Many are asking what did this march accomplish? What will happen now? If they will only stop and think about their questions and understand the significance of bringing black people together from all over this country to say that we are not going to take the unfair justice system anymore. We are putting this country on notice that "Injustice anywhere,is injustice everywhere".

Be clear that I do not believe that just black people believe that the incident in Jena Louisiana was wrong, I believe that people of good will, no matter their race, can clearly understand the unfair justice system and the negative light that has been place on the "Jena 6".

This was a good start to raising the awareness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekly Thought

If no one heeds your call, go forth alone.

Recommended fine for TXU

The PUC (Public Utility Commission) staff has decided that the original fine of $210 million for allegedly manipulating the wholesale power market should be cut to $172 million. No matter which amount, it still represent the highest penalty that the commission has ever levied against a company.

TXU denies any wrongdoing,but the customer has to bear the brunt of this move (higher prices). It is believed that TXU abused its position by offering its energy into the market at prices well in excess of its marginal cost.


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O.J. Simpson

Why does the media spend so much valuable time and so many resources on this one individual? It appears that the media just can't forget that he was found not guilty of murder.

I personally do not care what strange twist his life takes. I am more concerned about what is happening to the poor people in this country like the homeless,
the children,the downtrodden and the elderly. The government(federal,
state and local)are completely missing the boat on many of the issues that affect our lives on a daily basis.

Media please focus on the issues that can make positive change in the lives of all Americans.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The Black Community

Who makes up the black community? Are only elected or appointed officials the representatives of the black community? Who's on the outside looking in? Who holds the elected and appointed officials accountable? Does someone under 30 have the answer to all the problems in our community? Who decides the black leadership?

All questions that are not answered in the community today. While it is clear that we have new leadership, only time will tell if it is in the best interest of our community.


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Dallas Achieves

There are 9 board members that are elected by the citizens of Dallas to be on The Dallas Independent School District's board. They are the only body that has a vote on the school district's budget and to make policy decisions for the school district. Why is it that we are to believe that the elected officials should give over their authority to a group who are not accountable to the citizens? Trustee's keep asking questions because you will be held accountable.


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Friday, September 14, 2007

Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway Takes Credit For Oak Cliff Drug Houses BeingTorn Down

There is no possible way a person that has been elected only 3 months to the city council can be responsible for the drug houses coming down. If that was the case, we would have drug houses being destroyed daily in all of the council districts. It's all one big show. Don't be misled.

Race Does Matter

Jena case reminds us that there are still remnants of the racial struggles for blacks in America.

Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway

It is so good to know that Dallas citizens are not falling for the hype that is being written on different blogs about Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway. There are some that would try to make you believe that he is doing good work for the community with his short tenure in office (since June). They would also like for you to believe that the entire black community is 100% behind him (not true). Just check out some of these blogs and you will see where some of the problems are in our community, "It is not about the money, but it is all about the money."

Sharon Boyd seems to believe that she has to have a positive comment about Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway when ever Rufus Shaw or Michael Davis writes something about him on the blogs. While I respect her right to comment, it can not sway the black community's thoughts and ideas about this person. For years I was not a supporter of Sharon Boyd's, but I have found her to be more open than before.

The community is watching this new council and the jury is still out on who is good or bad.


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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Six accused of torture

In Big Creek,West Virginia a young black woman was held captive in a mobile home, forced to eat animal waste, stabbed, choked and repeatedly sexually abuses - all while being peppered with racial slur.

Deputies acting on an anonymous tip in the rural hills found the woman who limped toward the door and uttered "Help me." Six people, all white, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, have been arrested and could face federal hate crime charges.

Some say race is not a factor!!!!!

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The first five inductees of Abolition Hall of Fame

The first five people to be inducted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame, chosen by a panel of 33 abolition scholars and historians.

-Frederick Douglass, born a slave in Maryland, became internationally known as a respected speaker and writer, owned The North Star newspaper in Rochester, N.Y.

-William Lloyd Garrison, led the moral crusade for abolition of slavery, published The Liberator, an abolition newspaper from 1831 to 1866, established the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.

-Lucretia Mott, a Quaker who organized anti-slavery groups, and was a tireless reformer for women’s rights.

-Gerrit Smith, led the political crusade for abolition of slavery, sent agents South to purchase freedom for families, established manual labor schools for young black males, gave away 130,000 acres to black male Americans.

-Harriet Tubman, called “the Moses of her people,’’ led more than 300 slaves to freedom on the
Underground Railroad during the Civil War.

SOURCE: Abolition Hall of Fame Committee

Dallas City Council Committees

The Dallas City Council Committees were announced yesterday. The committees are where most of the work gets done, since the new ideas are often introduced via committee and then moved for discussion and vote amongst the entire City Council. What happened to senior council member Angela Hunt being the chair of a committee? At looks like the new mayor is showing us what to expect for the next four years. If you do not agree with him, you will be punished.

Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill is a member of Finance and Audit, Transportation and Environmental and Housing committees. She is the Vice Chair of the Quality of Life Committee and she will serve the community well on these committees..

Finance, Audit & Accounting Committee:Mitchell Rasansky (chair), Jerry Allen (vice-chair), Dr. Elba Garcia, Vonciel Hill, Angela Hunt, Ron Natinsky, Dave Neumann

Public Safety Committee:Dr. Elba Garcia (chair), Dwaine Caraway (vice-chair), Jerry Allen, Tennell Atkins, Sheffie Kadane, Ron Natinsky, Dave Neumann, Mitchell Rasansky

Transportation and Environment Committee:Linda Koop (chair), Sheffie Kadane (vice-chair), Jerry Allen, Carolyn Davis, Vonciel Hill, Angela Hunt, Pauline Medrano, Ron Natinsky

Economic Development Committee:Ron Natinsky (chair), Tennell Atkins (vice-chair), Jerry Allen, Dwaine Caraway, Sheffie Kadane, Linda Koop, Mitchell Rasansky, Steve Salazar

Housing Committee:Steve Salazar (chair), Carolyn Davis (vice-chair), Tennell Atkins, Dr. Elba Garcia, Vonciel Hill, Angela Hunt, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano

Quality of Life and Government Services Committee:Pauline Medrano (chair), Vonciel Hill (vice-chair), Carolyn Davis, Angela Hunt, Sheffie Kadane, Dave Neumann, Steve Salazar

Trinity River Project Committee:Dave Neumann (chair), Dr. Elba Garcia (vice-chair), Dwaine Caraway, Carolyn Davis, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano, Mitchell Rasansky, Steve Salazar

Mayor’s Task Force on Southern Sector Economic Opportunities:Tennell Atkins (chair), Ron Natinsky (vice-chair), additional members from other governmental entities and the private sector

Marketing Task Force:Dwaine Caraway (chair), additional members from the council and the community.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New To Dallas

It is amazing to me how new people in Dallas bring up the neighborhoods that we were relegated to live in during the years of segregation. The housing projects "Projects" in Dallas was simply housing for black families during those time. We could not live all over Dallas as we do now, but if you are new to the city, you possibly would not know the history of this town. We have people who lived in the "Projects" for some period of time (one years to many years) that are now elected officials, lawyers, entrepreneurs, accountants, teachers and so on. They were not able to make these accomplishments if their parents and neighbors did not play a significant role in their neighborhood and development.

There was and still is a great deal of pride in many black people who find themselves now and then living in the "Projects". Many are hardworking and good people who will continue to work to see that their neighborhood is a better place to live for everyone that is living there.

People who have worked in the community for years ( just to name a few) like Rev. Zan Holmes, Councilwoman Voncil Jones Hill, former Councilwoman Diane Ragsdale, former Councilman Al Lipscomb, Rev. Holsey Hickman, Rev. Charles Stovall, School Board member Kathleen Gilliam, School Board member Robert Price, former Councilwoman Junaita Craft, Peter Johnson, Rev. Marshall Hodge, Betty Lockhart, Dr. Mamie McKnight, former councilwoman Mattie Nash and Brenda Fields are well aware of where we came from.

Weekly Thought

One Who makes no mistakes,never makes anything.

Sisters In Business

Ester Davis is a woman that I have known for over 20 years, and she has epitomized a black woman in business. She has taken the hard knocks and the disconnects and made them positive for her. She now has her own television show. "The Ester Davis Show" originally aired during March 2003, which was National Women's History Month. The show is now on channel's 68,42,49 and 6 in the Dallas, San Antonio and Houston markets.

The Ester Davis Show
P.O. Box 222111
Dallas, TX 75222

214/376-9000
host@esterdavis.com
http://www.esterdavis.com/

Monday, September 10, 2007

St Luke "Community" United Methodist Church

If you are looking for a good church home, I recommend St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church. For over 20 years I have called St Luke my church home, and I have been blessed to go from Rev. Zan Wesley Homes to Rev. Tyrone Gordon as the senior pastors. At St Luke we are taught to seek to create sacred spaces wherein individuals can come to have a deeper experience of God and to be transformed. We believe that such an experience will assist us in living an increasingly holy life, that is, a life that is characterized by love of God and neighbor.

Recently I found myself in a difficult situation, but the church never wavered. The church members and Pastor Gordon surrounded me with prayer and love. My church family is part of the reason that I can dislike the situation, but remember that God is in the blessing business.

Visit us on any Sunday at 5710 East R.L. Thornton Freeway (Winslow exit)
or call 214/821-2970

SEE YOU AT THE LUKE

Citizens Can Do Their Part/Laureland and Interstate 35

Me and my neighbors use Redbird Lane that turns into Laureland to access Interstate 35, and for a period of time we noticed a negative change in the area. We saw a business started called 24-7 Cigar and we were alarmed at the constant activity that was there. People sitting around and scantily dressed women parading around. We believed their to be prostitution, drug sales etc. taking place and began to call 311 for help. After a few calls I was told that I needed to talk to a detective and get a case number to report the unwanted activity as often as I saw it.

The community continued to call 311 and let them know that we would not tolerate the activity that was taking place in our neighborhood. I spoke with Detective Ford on many occasions and he went or sent someone to the location to verify the activity. Detective Ford finally sent out a police car that was parked at the Texaco service station for a period of time. The 24-7 Cigar Shop was closed and we now have a store for baby clothes and toys.


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Citizens can make a difference in the neighborhood. It takes persistence, and the city council persons do not have to direct city staff like Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway,Sheffine Kadane and David Newmann did. Let the profesionals do their job.

New Hub for Asian Imports in Southern Dallas?

The current plan for an intermodel facility( Inland Port) in southern Dallas is very import to the economic growth of the area along with creating a tax base in the southern sector of Dallas that will help the overall vitality of the city of Dallas. It has been predicted that this Inland Port (Dallas Logistics Hub)will create over 60,000 jobs in the southern sector. These jobs are needed in this area of Dallas because most of the southern sector jobs are going to suburban cites like Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill and Lancaster. We need the tax base in Dallas.

Currently Union Pacific (UP) has an intermodel terminal in Dallas handling international
cargoes-one capable of loading and off-loading the containers that can go from cargo ship to railway cars to trucks but there is a hangup with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). BNSF has optioned land for an intermodel terminal of its own at Dallas Logistics Hub. To make this work, BNSF would have to cross the TRE (Trinity Rail Express) track that are owned by DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) and The T (Forth Worth Transit Authority).

For over a year BNSF has tried to get their trackage right agreement with TRE changed to allow them the access that they would need to facilitate them being able to create an intermodel terminal at Dallas Logistics Hub. There are some complications with this because Fort Worth could keep Dallas down in favor of its own inland port, Alliance Texas, run by Ross Perot, Jr.
in Fort Worth. The agreement to change BNSF's trackage right agreement must be agreed on by both DART and The T.

The Dallas Logistics Hub is a work in progress, but a very vital part of the development of the inland port is BNSF's intermodel facility. What is councilman Tennell Adkins (District 8 councilman), Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway (Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem) and Mayor Tom Leppert doing to make this happen? I understand that other councilperson are waiting for the leadership of these individuals and so is the community. We need the development and the jobs in southern Dallas.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Technorati Profile

State Representative Yvonne Davis Parade of Stars Appreciation Dinner

State Representative Yvonne Davis' Parade of Stars Appreciation Dinner (Campaign)

Join District 111 Constituents for an Appreciation Dinner honoring State Representative Yvonne Davis with a special salute to the "Stars of District 111" on Thursday, September 13, 2007. The event will be held from 7:00PM - 9:30PM. The cost is $40.00 per person.

Time: Thursday, September 13 at 7:00 PM

Host: Claude Spivey

Location: The Golf Club of Dallas (Formerly Oak Cliff Country Club) (Dallas, TX)
2200 W. Red Bird LaneDallas, TX 75232

Friday, September 7, 2007

Meet Your Elected Officials- Helen Giddings

Representative Helen Giddings

Helen Giddings is a lifelong resident of Dallas County, and believes that public service identifies her. She is a community leader, successful entrepreneur, and is currently serving an eighth-term as a member of the Texas State House of Representatives. Rep. Giddings is Chair of the Business & Industry Committee, Vice-Chair of the House Administration Committee, and a member of the Committee on Higher Education.

Giddings previously served on the House Select Committee on Public Education, the House Select Committee on Contested Elections and the House Committee on Financial Institutions.
The founder and President of Multiplex Inc., she continues to be a strong voice for small business, and has served as the Board Chair of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. In the 1980's, as Vice-Chair of the Dallas Transit Board, her mediation skills were invaluable in helping to bring a bus driver strike to an end. Her objectivity and sense of fairness enabled her to serve with distinction on both the State Bar Grievance Committee and the Dallas County Grand Jury.
A passionate advocate for education, she has focused much of her time and energy on providing equal educational opportunities for children. In 1997, she authored the legislation establishing the “Read to Succeed Program” which included then Governor George Bush’s reading initiative. The program enables Texas drivers' to order a special license plate, and the proceeds provide financial support to the Texas school library of the driver's choice. The "Read to Succeed" license plate is the first Texas license plate designed by a child. Furthermore, Giddings authored legislation that prohibits five year olds being placed in alternative education. In 1995, Giddings authored legislation to prohibit alcohol related businesses near schools.

She successfully authored legislation on dyslexia and other learning disabilities as well as programs which address adult education. In higher education, she has led efforts to eliminate geographic and ethnic disparities in funding. Her endeavors have led to more equitable funding for institutions of higher learning in the Metroplex. In order to provide equal opportunities for minorities and rural students, in 1997 Giddings joint authored the Top 10% rule. In recognition of her dedication to education, the Concerned DeSoto Citizens established a scholarship in her honor. Likewise, Pearl C. Anderson School in Dallas, Texas named their library “The Helen Giddings Media Center."

During the 79th Legislature as the Business and Industry chair, she joint authored legislation creating the new Worker's Compensation system as well as authoring five bills focusing on Identity Theft Prevention, Punishment of Criminals, and Help for Victims of Identity Theft. In 2003, Giddings authored the 900 page Business Organization Code.
With a profound interest in the arts, Helen has served on the boards of the African American Museum, Dallas Symphony Board, Dallas Summer Musicals and the Dallas Theater Center. Her contributions to the community and the arts lead to the African American Museum naming a room in her honor.

Having served on the Dallas City Planning Commission, she understands the need to create safer neighborhoods which led her to author legislation on code enforcement, as well as legislation encouraging the building of affordable housing, which permits the transfer of properties (acquired through delinquent taxes) to builders of affordable housing. As a proponent for justice, Giddings authored legislation to create an unsolved crimes unit within the Texas Rangers agency.

Helen has been a vocal and active participant in the reaffirmation and revitalization of South Africa. She has worked to improve trade and cultural relations between South Africa and the United States. During her many trips to South Africa, she has received awards and recognition from former President Nelson Mandela and served on the Texas Host Committee for the visit of President, Thabo Mbeki. As a tribute to the outstanding work that Helen has done in South Africa, Prairie View A&M University has established the Helen Giddings Scholarships for Exemplary Students from South Africa, which are Presidential level scholarships.
Her service has earned many awards and special recognition including; National Association of Historically Black College Alumni Award, Maura Award, The Heart Award from the American Heart Association and an Honorary Doctorate from Paul Quinn College.

Vern's Place

Vern's Place is an institution in this town. It is frequented by construction workers, business people in suits, bank workers, police officers and just everyday citizens looking for a good home cooked meal. If you have been looking for a particular person, just go by Vern's at lunch and they are there. This is all done in very close quarters, because Vern's is not a large place and it makes all of it's clientele very up close and personnel.

It is very disturbing to read that the new property owners are going to go up on the rent that will force Vern's out after over 40 years. While we all understand progress, it is not good when an institution is displaced. This is a family business that is operated by Mrs. Suvern Freeman Simmons along with her children and grandchildren.

We love Vern's Place. DO NOT CLOSE - JUST RELOCATE.
A fundraiser is scheduled for 3 p.m Sept. 16 at Vern's Place, 3600 Main Street or for more information call Gail Freeman at 469-735-2258, Restaurant at 214-823-0435.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

African American Genealogy Interest Group

Mission Statement

  • Educate the African American community on the importance of researching it's family history.
  • Extract (birth, death, marriage, slave and slave owners, will and deed records, newspaper and obituaries) to assist in African American research.
  • Promote African American resources found in the Dallas Public Library.
    The DGS/AAGIG promotes the study of Black genealogy and provides information through educational programs on tracing African-American roots.

Meetings are held on third Tuesdays in the Downtown Library Auditorium beginning at 6:00 p.m from September to May.

Dallas Genealogical SocietyP. O. Box 12446Dallas, Texas 75225-0446Voice Mail 469-948-1106 E-mail mailto:questions@dallasgenealogy.org?subject=Dallas for information or questions about the society, please include your complete name.

Darrell Jordan to head new Dallas law office

Former Dallas mayoral candidate Darrell Jordan will become the managing attorney at the Dallas office of Dykema, a Midwest-based law firm that's opening an office in the Comerican Bank Tower. The firm will specialize initially in intellectual property matters.

Mr. Jordan previously served as a managing partner at Godwin Gruber, which is now Godwin Pappas Ronquill0.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sandy Kress Next Commissioner of Education?

A core group of Gov. Rick Perry's business supporters are making a strong push to install Sandy Kress as the next state's Commissioner of Education. Over the last dozen years, Kress has been the most significant face for the education arm of the Governor's Business Council . If selected, Kress would be the fourth commissioner of education during Gov. Perry's term in office.

While Business is pushing Kress, Conservatives with strong ties to the State Board of Education have lunched an active campaign against him.

Is Sandy Kress, former President of the Dallas Independent School District's Board of Education, the right person to assume the role of Commissioner of Education?

Council Request of Police Officers

Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway, David Newmann and Sheffie Kadane all new Dallas City council persons who have been in office since June 2007 and are making special request of the Dallas Police Department. They have opened up the question of setting policy versus micromanaging. Each council person has made numerous request of the Dallas police department to get rid of crime in their districts as reported by The Dallas Morning News. The Police department is caught between the council person's request or staying focused on lowering overall crime. The Police departments concern is that the people who set their budget is also making special request with little understanding of how their request adversely affects the departments ability to prioritize.

Chief Kunkel says "A lot of this I attribute to new council members wanting to make a difference and wanting to demonstrate that they are effective." and former Dallas Chief Ben Click says "It's amazing how someone gets elected and overnight becomes an expert. Their role is to set policy and give general direction to the department, and then let the professionals figure out how to do it and hold their feet to the fire."

If resources are being moved to accommodate the request of these new council member, who is not being served? Give the police the tools that they need and do not micromanage.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill

I attended the Budget Town hall meeting at Thurgood Marshall Rec. Center on Thursday Aug. 30, 2007 and was pleased with the number of staff persons that attended. The community also showed up to hear what was being proposed for this year's budget. Councilwoman Hill's introduction to the budget process was good and her closing with asking questions about what the community wanted in the district was refreshing.

I left with three things on my mind about the budget:
1. $43 million for Dallas Public Schools (NO)
2. How much was in the budget for employee raises?
3. A comparative of what the fees and taxes would be on a $100,000.00 house.

City of Dallas Budget has 43 million for Dallas Schools

Almost weekly there is something about the mismanagement of money and personnel at Dallas Independent School District (DISD) ,and in the proposed budget for the city of Dallas there is 42 million of taxpayer money that will go to DISD.

The taxes that go to Dallas Independent School District (DISD)currently are not being spent wisely. Just recently we have had the credit card scandal and the DISD's extra pay which is $80 million a year in supplemental payroll that is paid on top of salaries for extra work or desirable skills. Little oversight was given to this program just as little oversight was given to the credit card program. To make things worse with the credit card scandal, the superintendent spent a million dollars on an investigation that did very little to the people who abused the credit cards. What happened to paying all of the money back?

Mayor Tom Leppert made a campaign promise to get more involved with education, but we should not be using money that we need for public safety, parks, streets and code enforcement. Maybe some of the fees that will be raised in this year's budget can stay as they are with 43 million that is in the budget for education.

Dallas city council JUST SAY NO to any funds for education other than grants .

Homeless

The Dallas Morning News reports that more homeless are looking for meals and shelter. The lines outside of the Stewpot has grown lately, and record numbers are showing up for assistance.
My office has been in the downtown area (28 years on Main Street) for almost 30 years, with 27 years in my own business, and I have watched the homeless situation grow in larger numbers each year. It is apparent that the city of Dallas struggles with the homeless problem. In my opinion there are many reasons why we have not been able to reduce the number of homeless people in the downtown area. Let us also remember that the homeless population is now moving outside of the downtown area into the residential areas.

The city is basically trying to treat all of the problems with the homeless the same. They want to use the cookie cutter approach or one size fit all. The homeless are in the situation for many different reasons, some are new in the city, drug addiction, alcoholism, mental illness and working poor. I see more women and children than I have ever seen before.

Everybody is not willing to conform, but for those that are, lets find some temporary housing, job training and substance abuse programs that work.

Paul Quinn College

Thank you Michael Sorrell,interim president of Paul Quinn, for the new student dress code. While some of the students do not appreciate the change now, they will appreciate it later in life. We all know that first impressions are usually lasting impressions and the way that you dress has a lot to say about who you are.

Hopefully the students will have a new attitude about their graduating from college and entering into the business world.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sankofa Art Kafe Closes

After 12 years on Martin Luther King Boulevard Sankofa Arts Kafe will close its doors. The establishment will be missed. It offered a vegetarian and American cuisine menu and hosted weekly open mic events, poetry slams, lecturers and concerts featuring artist like Erykah Badu.

Sorry to see it go. Another business lost in South Dallas.