Monday, December 29, 2008

Dallas Morning News 2008 Texan of the Year - District Attorney Craig Watkins









I was shocked that the Dallas Morning News would have the courage to pick District Attorney Craig Watkins as the Texan of the Year. It is my opinion that Craig Watkins took his election to the District Attorney's office serious and immediately began to make significant change. While he did not do it alone, it was his leadership that moved forward with a partnership with the Innocence Project and allowed people that had been wrongly convicted to be released from prison. I can not imagine how those innocent people must have felt being locked up in prison for something that they did not do.

I say "convict the criminals and throw the key away, and free the wrongly convicted NOW".

Good choice Dallas Morning News.

Thought for the Week

PSALM 24

1. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;
2. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
3. Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
4. The the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
5. Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped
8. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Love You Carla Ranger

This board has been so busy trying to muzzle Trustee Carla Ranger that they have now stifled their own oppotunity to speak at the meetings. With their actions,they have only sent her from her board seat to open forums that address the problems at the board level and the administraton. She clearly understands that the leadership of Dallas ISD (the board) is in trouble. How can you lead when you are worried about your own personal gains? You can't.



Thank you Adam Medrano for being brave enough to second some of Mrs. Rangers motions.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Jesus is the reason for the season.

God Bless
Joyce Foreman

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

African American Business Participation at The City of Dallas


While gathering information on minority participation on contracts, and particularly African American business participation with public agencies, it was striking that Councilman Dwaine Caraway, Tennell Adkins and Mayor Tom Leppert are interested in how well other agencies are utilizing African American contractors and businesses. They appear to want to tell other agencies that they should do a better job at utilizing African American businesses ,but when you look at the city of Dallas's record, you can only wonder why aren't they trying to make sure that equity is spreading within the arena that they have some control over instead of going to other agencies making demands. The city's African American business participation:



FY 2005-2006

African American $14,828,786.............. 5.1%

Expenditures $289,385,589

FY 2006-2007

African American $22,443,183............... 5.9%

Expenditures $377,702,706


FY 2007-2008

African Americans $25,287,511................ 5.4%

Total Expenditures $468,578,222



Total 3 years African American Participation ............. $62,559,480
Total 3 year Expenditures ................................$1.135 Billion
Total 3 year percentage ..................................... 5.5%


Mayor Leppert,Dwaine Caraway, and Tennell Adkins need to make sure that the city of Dallas is doing everything it can to ensure that their is inclusion on the city's contracts instead of going to other agencies telling them what to do. Make sure that your house is in order before going to others to tell them what to do.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Wishes


MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY NEW YEAR

DISD Budget Crisis



What is most amazing about the budget crisis is that we now know that the slide started in 2005-under Dr. Hinojosa's watch-but all we hear from the auditors is about the unbudgeted teachers and poor accounting. We still have not been given a detail report on where the money went. Did the district give departments higher budgets or did departments overspend their budget? Was purchasing of goods and services increased? Did maintenance cost go up? Was there also an increase in non teaching jobs? Did the under $50,000 contracts go up (those are the contracts that the board do no approve)? How much in mis-managed federal grants, and how much did the district have to return to the federal government? Did Dr. Hinojosa's Executive team salaries increase from the previous superintendent? Did administrative cost increase?

At the last board meeting when discussions came up over the district paying 116 teachers $397,00 in bonuses that they had earned out of general funds the board had questions. The reason that the bonuses had not been paid was that some principals had not followed the federal guidelines for payment. The trustees had some concern over which line item in the budget the money would come out of. The board was told that the money would come from a line item that was for utilities and stipends. That really did not make any sense. Finally it was agreed that the money would come out of the budgets of the Executive Team and board. I wonder if the budget process is fixed? Why would stipends and utilities be together in the budget? Utilities are operational and stipends are salary related.

We also hear that the fund balance is down from $120 million dollars to $20 million dollars in a short three year period. Just a couple of months ago we were told that because of the 2007-2008 budget shortfall that the fund balance would be at $60 million dollars. What is going on? What happened to that additional $40 million dollars in just a couple of months? Where is the board in all of this, and where are those business executives who have just declared that Dallas most pay more money to the people that they hire in the financial area? I think that currently for 3 positions in accounting they are paying over $500,000 (half a million) in salaries and that does not include benefits. Maybe they think that taxpayers money should be spent the same way that the banking industry's bailout money is spent on private jets,large bonuses, stock option and contract buyouts at the taxpayers expense. If the corporate executives are so concerned, why don't they try helping Dallas ISD by allowing some of their top financial executives to be executives on loan to Dallas ISD?

Why can't we spend money on quality teachers and give our children the best chance for learning ?



TAXPAYERS STILL NEED TO KNOW WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

S.M. Wright Foundation - Christmas Celebration




This event was breath taking. It was estimated that over 20,000 people came to the automobile building in Fair Park to get toys, cloths and food. Rev. S. M. Wright II has done a wonderful job in continuing the foundation in his father's name and helping the less fortunate. To see the smiles on children's faces as they choose the toy or to watch the parents look on with smiles made this a better Christmas season for many of us that were there volunteering.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to volunteer for this event. Not only did I volunteer but I also took my 12 year old nephew,Taylor,so that he would have an opportunity to give back to the community. When he returned home he told his mother that he had learned something and what he had learned was many people are in need and sometimes when he ask for things he should be thankful that she is able to get them for him and that he has so much to be thankful for. Thank God for Taylor's lesson.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DISD- Carla Ranger

The board meeting on Thursday night was interesting. It was amazing to watch Chairman Jack Lowe attempt to keep Trustee Ranger from making a point of order. She simply wanted to explain for the record why she was not voting on the consent agenda, but President Lowe did not want her speaking and it looks like President Lowe, the parliamentarian and the lawyer have all decided that they would not allow Mrs Ranger to express herself by trying to contain her comments. When Mrs Ranger tries to speak, President Lowe calls on the parliamentarian or the lawyer to rule in his favor.

Tonight was good. Mrs. Ranger appealed the ruling of the President to the entire board and got a second from Trustee Adam Medrano (Thank You Adam) and won the vote. I just can not understand why you would attempt to tie the hands of a fellow trustee. When Mrs Rangers hands are tied you are locking out her constituents and certainly they are taxpayers also and elected Mrs. Ranger to be our voice.

WE LOVE YOU CARLA!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why DART?

At the last DART Board meeting Chairman Randall Chrisman had community activist Lee Alcorn thrown out of the board meeting because Mr. Alcorn was asking for a meeting with him about the whispers going around that the Executive Vice President of DART, Ben Gomez had issued an order to hire Hispanics for a certain position.

Mr. Alcorn and other community activist like Rev. Ronald Wright went to DART out of concerns of discrimination. This should not be happening in this day and time. What happened to the best person for the job?

DART should not want to throw the public speakers out because they are asking question. Remember DART you are funded by the public.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NAACP Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Andrea Clark (214)394-7779 or (214)741-1809
DALLAS NAACP PRESS CONFERENCE TO DEMAND DISD BOARD TRUSTEE PRESIDENT TO CALL A SPECIAL MEETING

Dallas, Texas - November 24, 2008 - The Dallas NAACP, along with several other community organizations including ACCION America, African-American Pastors Coalition and Interdenomination Ministerial Alliance, will hold a press conference on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 4:00 p.m., in front of the Dallas Independent School District ("DISD") Administration Building, 3700 Ross Ave, Dallas, Texas 75204, to demand Board President Jack Lowe to call a special meeting to take a vote of confidence for Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa by Monday, December 1st. All members of the Dallas NAACP, community members, parents, children and concerned citizens are requested to be present. "We can no longer stand on the sidelines. DISD Board President Jack Lowe lied to us and now we demand that he set the meeting for a vote of confidence as policy states" stated Pres. Casey Thomas. People are asked to be at the DISD Administration Building by 3:30PM. For more information, contact Pres. Casey Thomas at presidentdallasnaacp@yahoo.com or Andrea Clark at (214)394-7779.

Friday, November 21, 2008

James Dante Kings




Dallas ISD's board meeting was as interesting as usual,but two speakers really got my attention. They were the parents of a now diciest DISD student James Dante Kings. James was a student at BTW for the Preforming and Visual Arts school. He along with other classmates in March of 2008 went on a field trip to Austin where James was struck by a car on Interstate 35.

Mr. and Mrs. Kings addressed the board about their son, and made a plea for Dallas ISD to award his diploma. This was a shock to me. Maybe I am just naive, but that is like pouring salt into a wound. The parents have lost their child and the Dallas isd is so insensitive that they will not give them a diploma for their son who was a graduating senior and had completed all of the necessary requirements for graduation.

The administration at Dallas ISD is unbelievable.

UPDATE: November 25, 2008 - Dallas ISD has agreed to award the earned Diploma of James Dante Kings to his parents. Praise God.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NTTA- Minority Business

Just heard that Mayor Tom Leppert, Commissioner John Wiley Price, Willis Johnson,Martin Burrell and others went to the NTTA meeting and ask them to delay a contract because there was no African American participation.

The contract was delayed. Katrina Keys with K-Strategies is the MWBE person with NTTA. It will be interesting to see who ends up on the contracts. Will it be the usual people that are associated with K-Strategies or will the door be opened to all African American companies that are qualified?

Speakers Will Not Be Heard




The Dallas City Council has decided that they will no longer telecast the speakers at the end of the meeting. That is very interesting. The only council persons that usually come under their raft are Mayor Tom Leppert and Councilman Dwaine (Dwayne,Dewayne Caraway), so it is logical to assume that the two of them got together to change the rules.

If the people who come to speak at the end of the meeting are wise, and I think they know what they are doing, they should just speak on an item so that they can still be heard.

We are a Democratic Country and I hope that Democracy will not be thrown out the window because two persons on the council can not take the heat. I have been told, "If you can not take the heat, get out of the kitchen"

DART DART




DART is overall a good agency. It is struggling with leadership just as Dallas ISD is struggling. If the person at the top is not competent, the administrative staff is usually lacking. Gary Thomas by all accounts appear to be a good person, but in over his head as the president of DART. When the comparison to Dick Rudell at the "T" in Fort Worth and Gary Thomas at DART is made there is a big difference in their leadership style and ability. You never hear about scandals at the "T" as you do at DART. That does not mean that things may or may not be going wrong at The "T", but the leadership seems to keep things running smoothly.

Part of the reason that DART struggles, is that the mayor of Dallas,Tom Leppert, and city council members like Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway are interfering with the daily operations of the agency. Things like, Caraway attempting to get the DART board to focus on getting rail to come to the Cedar Crest Golf Course near his house instead of sticking with the current 20 year plan which focus on the access to the Inland Port that has estimated 30,000 jobs will be created. Would you want to get to a golf course or a job via rail? And there is the mayor calling DART Board members telling them how to vote on the pending Bus purchase. It has been said that he is telling the Dallas appointees to vote for natural gas buses which would be fueled by Clean Energy a company owned by T. Boone Pickens.

Now you have the DART President, Gary Thomas,some members of his staff and some of the board members not being good stewards of the taxpayers money when they attend conventions. It is so easy to do the right thing by attending the meetings and finding additional time to attend other functions.

DART also has to deal with its suburban board members who are more politically savvy than the Dallas appointees. They are making sure that DART's president stay in place as long as he is giving them what they want, and that is to make sure that the light rail build out to their cities is on time. It does not have to be on budget, because they are willing to spend more to get it to their cities on time.

And surely the last straw was the allegations that DART Executive Vice President Ben Gomez is telling Human Resources staff to hire Hispanics only. What a shame. Why not hire the best person for the job?

The plan for a regional transportation authority to take over DART,The "T" and Denton County Transit Authority is moving forward with all due speed, and the citizens of Dallas will loose the most because all of the long range plans for DART will go out the window and the planning of new service and building of rail will be to the outlying communities.

Wake up Dallas!

Dallas ISD's Rush to Cancel May,2009 Elections





DISD is rushing to vote tonight to preserve the "Slam Dunk" gang which votes together to keep the status quo. It is so unfortunate that there is only one trustee who is speaking up against the extended terms and the cancellation of elections in May, 2009. This board does not seem to have any interest in the education of the children, but the interest of keeping themselves in office to spread the money around to the usual suspects.

Trustee Ron Price continues to talk about not being payed to serve and how much work they are doing as trustee. Since he is the longest tenured board member, you would think that he knows the job description and compensation. If it is such a burden, do not run again in May, 2009.

Trustee Carla Ranger makes excellent points on her blog asking the question, why this rush to vote? http://carlaranger.blogspot.com/2008/11/ruthless-board-politics-is-behind-rush.html

Lets see how this " Slam Dunk" gang will handle this vote.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thought for the Week

Man cannot live by profit alone.

James Baldwin

Leigh Ann Ellis-Policy Committee Chair for DISD-Pushes for 4 year terms




It is Unbelievable that the trustees of Dallas ISD would even consider at this time extending the length of their terms. I guess that the Dallas ISD taxpayers do not have any input in the school district. With sheer recklessness, The Dallas ISD trustees have placed on the November 20, 2008 Board Agenda this important vote. It has been put on the consent (Consent Agenda Item: A-19) agenda leaving no room to conduct a public hearing to afford comments from Dallas ISD taxpayers at the meeting or even allow for discussion from the Dallas ISD trustees. This is what you call participant government?

To make matters worse, the trustee that is chairing the Policy Committee-Leigh Ann Ellis-is up for election in May, 2009 and she is pushing hard to stifle debate. Shame on DISD.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NO TRESPASSING IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS

Yesterday while sitting in my office in Downtown Dallas,one of Dallas's finest (Police Officers) came in with a document that he wanted me to sign. It was a NO Trespassing form that would virtually allow the police to pickup Homeless people who were in front of my business for trespassing. I was shocked. Why would I sign a blanket order for homeless people to be picked up if they were in front of my business? No way would I even consider such a thing.

My office has been in downtown Dallas for almost 30 years and I have come to know many homeless people. Some experiences have been bad, but for the most part, I understand many of their plights and I believe that the city of Dallas is trying to harass the homeless so that they will not be in downtown for the new people who are moving in their lofts,condos,and expensive apartments.

The homeless problem is so complicated, but the city seems to be attempting to make the case that they are all drunks and drug users who are harassing people. They do not seem to care that there are working homeless, women, children, veterans, mentally ill,alcohol and drug addicted homeless people. How can you possibly solve all of the problems that they are facing by using a cookie cutter approach to resolutions? This council does not seem to have the heart or the will to address many needs for the homeless,other than the new facility that they have built,which was on the drawing board before many on the current council was elected. I believe that a facility is not the only answer, and that is why you have over a hundred people sleeping outside each night.

I ask the officer several questions about the initiative that they were working on and he explained everything that he could to me. He was very courteous and listened to my concerns, while not agreeing with my assessment of the problem.

I did not sign the form and hope that other merchants will not blindly sign a form that would automatically give the police the right to accuse the homeless of trespassing and take them straight to jail.

Criminalizing the act of homelessness will not solve the problem.

DISD Throws Away School Books





Can you believe that anyone would put books in the dumpster? That makes absolutely no sense. Even if DISD was not going to use these books, what about donating them to after school programs, learning centers,shelters,church schools,small school districts or even third world countries. I have also heard that DISD has a practice of picking up books that are not being used and burning them. Forgive me, but it is not their money,so they do as they please by throwing the taxpayers money away.

To say that the janitor made a mistake in throwing the books out is the same old excuses that we continue to hear from DISD. No one takes responsibility for their actions, its always someone else who made the mistake.

This ship is sinking fast and the new business community committee had better be careful or they might sink with it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Chosen name for Industrial Blvd. is Riverfront

The Dallas City Council, lead by Mayor Tom Leppert, voted yesterday to change the name of Industrial Blvd. to Riverfort. This came with the displeasure of many Dallas citizens who believed that the City Council had ask the public for their input on renaming the street and when the council received the input,they chose to disregarded the public answer which was Caesar Chavez.

While I believe that the street name of Industrial Blvd. did not have the bad connotation that was betrayed by the Council, I was willing to accept the public choice. I did not believe that the street name had to be changed, but the City Council made the decision to ask the public for their input for a suggestions for a new street name to replace Industrial. It is my belief that we live in a democracy and public input is a part of the process. Guess I was wrong.

The City Council also denied naming Ross Ave. for Caesar Chavez which I agree with. The name of a street should not be changed just as a compromise for the failure to get the original process of renaming Industrial right.

I hope that this council can find it within themselves to right the wrong that they have created.

Hearing and Community Meeting

Dallas NAACP

Hearing/Community Meeting
>
>
> The Bond Program’s ramifications and the Displacement of
> Employees of The Dallas Independent School District
>
> Inviting all Parents, Employees, Teachers, Students and
> Stakeholders
>
> Tuesday Nov. 11, 2008
> 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
> Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center
> 5150 Mark Trail Way
> Dallas , Texas 75232
>
> For Information call 214/749-0266

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dallas Housing Authority


Betty Culbreath is no longer the chairwoman of the Board of Dallas Housing Authority. I knew she would not be after working on behalf of Mayor Tom Leppert to oust Ann Lott. That is just the way those things work. You do the dirty work and then your are no longer needed.

There is a part of me that wants to gloat and say "I told you so, and no better for you", but the christian part of me has empathy for people who are used and then discorded, no matter who they are. It is amazing how that works in this town.

Mayor Tom Leppert has appointed Terdema L Ussery, President & CEO of the Dallas Mavericks to replace Ms. Culbreath as chairman. What is most interesting is that he is the replacement. We all recall there was concern about Ms. Lott fighting with the business community about the sell of Little Mexico (she wanted to preserve the history) and this property is very close to the American Airlines Arena where Mr. Ussery's team, the Dallas Mavericks, play their basketball games. It will be interesting to see how soon Mayor Tom , Mr. Ussery and the gang will make a move on selling the land where Little Mexico sits, and who the buyer will be?

Why does the mayor get to appoint all 5 members of the board? Change the charter Dallas City Council.

President Elect - Barack Obama



History was made last night. Many people are celebrating the victory of the Democrats and are ready for a change in Washington.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

City Council Briefing-Smoking Ban-Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mayor Leppert has scheduled a full briefing of the city council this coming Wednesday to try to rally support for his proposed new smoking ban. The meeting will be in the council chambers at City Hall, and is scheduled to begin around 1:15PM. A vote on the matter is scheduled for November 19. If you believe ,as I do, that the use of junk science in promoting smoking bans represents a serious attack on the free enterprise system and can spare the time, please attend the council briefing. It is unlikely that speakers will be allowed at this meeting, but your presence and opposition will be of importance. If you can not attend, please call, write or email members of the City Council. Telephone numbers and addresses can be found at http://www.dallascityhall.com/government. Thanks.

James P. Graham
Palo Petroleum
5944 Luther Lane
Suite 900
Dallas, Texas 75225
214 691-3676

Expansion of Dallas Smoking Ordinance

Contact: Rita Cox, 214-599-0888, cell: 469-855-7283
At the briefing Jay Pritchard, cell: 214.558.6656

For immediate release:

Local Businessman, Personal Rights Advocate Opposes
Expansion of Dallas’ Smoking Ordinance

(DALLAS, TX –November 4) James P. Graham, CEO of Dallas-based Palo Petroleum, Inc. will attend the City Council Briefing, Wednesday, November 5 to demonstrate his opposition of the city council proposed action on anti-smoking bans in Dallas.

Graham believes that the most in depth and scientifically sound studies, such as the Enstrom/Kabat study published in the British Medical Journal, show that there are virtually no health risks associated with exposure to second hand smoke. “The anti smoking zealots' mode of attack, whether innocently or intentionally, is to repeat the lie often enough that it becomes accepted as truth. Nevertheless, organizations like Smoke Free Dallas print and distribute such untrue statements as ‘. . .53,000 deaths per year attributed to second hand smoke…’ This is an absolute, bold face, unsupportable lie based on junk science that will not stand scientific scrutiny,” said Graham.

Graham believes that if there are really little or no health threats associated with limited exposure to second hand smoke, then imposing smoking bans represents a much graver danger to society. The taking of personal property rights and freedoms and the wholesale attack and lack of respect for our free enterprise system by anti smoking folks is the dangerous crime to our society, which must be confronted, exposed and stopped. Graham said, “Enough is enough of these nannyistic usurpers of freedom, and whether a smoker or not, we all need to stand up to them and reclaim the control of our own lives!”

Graham has a long history of advocating for personal and property rights. He is a member of the executive committee of Mountain States Legal Foundation, a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own property and limited and ethical government. Graham’s long record of community involvement includes Chairman of the Dallas Park & Recreation Board, Chair of World Cup Dallas 1994 and Co-Founder of Dallas’ Send A Kid to Camp and many other civic endeavors.

Graham is a strong advocate against junk science. He hosted a briefing in October with Dr. John Dale Dunn, M.D., J. D., who strongly disputes the quasi-scientific claims of deaths or disease attributable to second hand smoke. To contact Graham, call 214.691.3676.

###

Friday, October 31, 2008

DISD School Board Meeting

Thank you Trustee Carla Ranger for all of the hard work that you are doing. The public knows that you are speaking for us and the children and right will prevail.

Convention Center Hotel

Yesterday at the Dallas County Courthouse there was a young man passing out these fliers . The interesting thing to me was this issue was not on the ballot and from all that I could see, most people were focused on the current election.
On one side of the flyer there was a caption "What OUR LEADERS are saying". The first thing that I noticed was the people on the flyer and their ethnicity. I wondered if they were passing these out in North Dallas?
I Early Voted and encourage everyone to exercise their right to VOTE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dallas ISD Meeting with Education Commissioner Robert Scott




The meeting was in closed session last Friday at 3700 Ross. The interesting thing about the meeting was who walked out of the meeting and who did not. We watched Senators Royce West, Shapiro and Corona leave along with Rep. Goolsby, Jack Lowe, Supt. Michael Hinojosa, Commissioner Scott and Trustee Carla Ranger. What we learned later was that Mayor Tom Leppert was on a conference call during the meeting. Guess he did not want to show his face but wanted to work behind the scene.


Dallas Housing Authority


A few months ago Mayor Leppert was rushing to the DHA meetings to give Ann Lott a warning about her length of employment. Now we see that a search is going on for a new Executive Director and Mayor Leppert has not changed the board appointments that were up in March. If the Mayor was going to keep them around, why would he not just reappoint them?

What was most interesting in the James Ragland's article was him mentioning the sell of Little Mexico and how Ms. Lott was against selling that property. Mr. Ragland article states " Now, with Ms. Culbreath in the saddle and Ms. Lott out of the way, the agency is instituting new financial controls. It's also more willing than ever to put all options on he table, including the potential sale of Little Mexico Village. " This board wants to leverage that property and will maximize its value," Ms Culbreath said in a recent post to her online blog." it seems as though that is just what Tom Leppert and the Citizens Council want to hear. Ann Lott stood up to the developers knowing the historical significance of Little Mexico to all of us, but especially to our Hispanic brothers and sisters.

We are all familiar with Ms. Betty Culbreath and her willingness to do the bidding for others. Her record speaks for itself. Review her service on the Planning Commission, DFW Airport and DHA. These were all appointments by Mayor Laura Miller who was Ms. Culbreath's close friend and ally.

In my opinion Mayor Tom Lepperts has pulled many stunts since he has been in office, and they were not in the best interest of the citizens of Dallas. He supported a Ross Perot employee for the DART Board,pushed the for the Trinity Toll Road,pushed for Lynn Flint Shaw to Chair the DART Board, forced Ann Lott out of her job, did not appoint Angela Hunt to chair a committee, supported taking Mike Sorrell off the DFW Airport Board, supported Dwaine (Dwayne,Dewayne) Caraway for Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, supports Michael Hinojosa (DISD Superintendent), supports another layer of government for the Inland Port, supports a taxpayer owned hotel, and supported the DISD Bond Proposal. That is only a few of his positions on issues that makes you go, WHAT?

This current leadership in Dallas is all about construction and contract dollars. Look around the edges and see where all of these people are sniffing. It's the same small pack of people who are pushing these items and they are making out like bandits at the expense of the people.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jennifer Hudson

Your heart always goes out to people who loose family members, but Ms. Hudson and her sister Julia are dealing with the brutality of the deaths and to think that loosing a family member is devastating, but loosing three at the same time seems almost unbareable.



So much crime is going on in this country. We must stop the killing.

Dallas Logistics Hub (Inland Port)

The development of the Dallas Logistics Hub (Inland Port) is very important to the citizens of Dallas, but the most affected are the citizens that live in the southern sector of Dallas. We have been waiting for years for the job creation that has been promised by our elected officials. We were told that the Logistics Hub could create at least 30,000 jobs and the development around the area could add an additional 30,000 jobs. It does not matter how you analyze the job creation numbers this would be a win for the cities of Dallas, Wilmer, Lancaster, Hutchins, Duncanville, DeSoto and Cedar Hill.

The creation of jobs and business opportunities in the southern sector will help create a greater tax base, and our elected officials have talked about making sure that the Dallas Logistics Hub is the catalyst for growth in the southern sector. At one point this project was pushed so hard by the previous council that the DART Board made it the number one priority of the Long Range Plan (2030 Plan) for light rail. The council wanted to make sure that there was mass transportation servicing this project.

Mayor Leppert, Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway, Tennell Adkins and Ron Natinsky seem to be stalling. You have to ask yourself, why? Mayor Leppert has constantly expressed to the community that he wanted to create jobs in the southern sector, but now all the community sees is the mayor and his group of seven on the council holding up progress. Could it have anything to do with the competition that the Dallas Logistics Hub will have with Alliance in Fort Worth? It has been said that Alliance is only 25% built out and the development of the Dallas Logistics Hub (Inland Port) would be serious competition for Alliance. As we all know, Alliance is owned by Ross Perot, Jr. and he has significant ties in the Dallas community. In fact, at one time Mayor Leppert, Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway and Tennell Adkins supported a person for the DART Board that was an employee of Perot Systems, and that had serious implications because of the need for the Dallas Logistics Hub (Inland Port) to use DART tracks (TRE) to transport goods. That appointment did not happen.

The project still has great value and merit, but the question is who will be in control? The citizens are tired of the political jocking. We want the development to take place now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Councilman James Fantroy - Gone but not forgotten



Another respected fighter for southern Dallas has left us. Former City Councilman James Frantroy died Sunday from kidney cancer at the age of 71. He was on the Council from 2000 to 2007.

We all knew that Councilman Fantroy was going to identify the issues that would directly affect his community and stick to his gun on making sure that his voice was heard and that it would not be business as usual around the Council horseshoe. He was the epitome of a public servant who was able to stand up for his community and forge relationships with other Councilpersons, because he was not a "go-along-to-get-along" person, but a person that wanted ALL of Dallas to be economically vibrant.

We will miss the courage of Councilman Frantroy and would urge Councilwomen Hill and Davis to continue to work for the community.
RIP Councilman Fantroy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thought for the week

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

District Attorney Craig Watkins

On Sunday at our church, St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church, DA Craig Watkins was the speaker. Forgive me, I mean preacher for the day. He talked about how this was his first time in the pulpit and thanked Rev. Tyrone Gordon for allowing him to be there.

I am most favorably struck by the fact that this District Attorney is under a great deal of pressure because of his willingness to exonerate inmates that have been falsely accused, and he continues to march on. He, along with the Innocence Project have worked hard through DNA evidence to right the wrongs of this criminal justice system. I can not imagine being imprisoned for 20 to 30 years wrongfully and come our with the good attitude that these people have shown. Most are not bitter, but are grateful that they were finally heard and that someone was willing to do the right thing about their cases.

I personally thanked District Attorney Watkins for his good work in this area, and if you see him do the same, because I believe there are those people who wish that he would just forget about
this project. He knows that his job is to convict the criminals, and we all want him to do that, but he also knows that this system has not always been fair and no matter what great strides he makes in this area, there are some people who are possibly in the criminal justice system who did not commit the crime that they are there for.

THANKS DISTRICT ATTORNEY CRAIG WATKINS.

Funeral of Rev. H. J. Johnson

It is aways amazing to see the people who show up at a funeral when the person being funeralized has tried,in their own way,to give to the community. We all know that there are many aspects of the needs in our Dallas community and it takes guts to stand up to some of the appointed and elected leaders and do what you believed is the right thing, and H.J. Johnson did what he believed to be right and left a trail of examples of how we treat our fellow man. A no-nonsense man who had the strength and support of his loving wife.

I was touched by the relationship that he and former council member Bill Blades shared and how they had worked together on issues. That is what we should all be about, working for the betterment of this community with whomever has a like mind.

Rest in peace Rev. H.J. Johnson

Siblings Held in Death of Mother

Today's news talks about siblings in Roanoke, Texas being held in the death of their mother.
What is this world coming to? These young people are under suspicion of killing their mother and can be charged with capitol murder. Those young lives are gone. No more seeing the light of day from a prison all because they did not have the common sense and the heart not to commit such a crime. I am sure that they do not have the understanding that not only are their lives affected, but their family and friends have to live through this tragedy also. What a waste.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oak Cliff

These newbies to Oak Cliff make me laugh. It's like they moved in yesterday and have all of the answers to what is needed in the area. I say they should take time and learn from people who have been working in the black community for years and then pick up the baton and run. You know, I see it as passing the baton, not dropping it and loosing because you did not practice and learn how to pass and then run. The idea is to win each leg of the race to be the ultimate winner. The last leg of the race can not run without successfully grabbing the baton and running to the finish.

Are we even in the race?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick

Why won't Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick save us all the drama by resigning and facing the charges against him? I guess he just does not understand the situation that he has put himself in or just thinks he can keep moving forward without accountability.

Thought of the Week

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.



United Negro College Fund

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts School

Once again the public was mislead by the DISD Board. It was the communities understanding that the clarification of the name of the Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts school would be on today's board agenda. No such luck. Therefore the supporters of keeping the school's current name will be back at the board meeting today with their protest. It just seems like this board is so bad that they can not get it right. It is so simple to get past this issue.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Save Community Television in Dallas

Yes, We Will! Save Community Television in Dallas.



Every great city in America, "land of the free and home of the brave," supports public access to cable television channels. As a model urban city, Dallas should be no different. Once again, I am personally asking you for your immediate action to SAVE community television. The time is NOW, the situation is CRITICAL. The Dallas City Council is working through the proposed 2009 city budget, and Dallas iMedia Network (formerly DCTV) has been reduced to $196,000 dollars. Unless iMedia's budget is restored, our voice will be silenced...and the attack on our free speech will continue to accelerate. Here is a snapshot of how the city has deteriorated iMedia's contract value over the last several years:

2001 - 2005: $700,000
2006: $543,000
2007: $508,000
2008: $300,000
proposed 2009: $196,000

This drastic funding reduction may well end public access television in Dallas. iMedia funding must be restored to the bare minimum 2008 level of $300,000. City Council Members are holding Town Hall Meetings in your neighborhood to listen to citizen concerns. This is an emergency. Please attend and SPEAK. Ask for funding to be reinstated to at least $300,000 for public access television in our community. See the Town Hall Meeting link to the right. Also, mark your calendar to attend the final budget hearings and vote, in Council Chambers, on the following Wednesdays:

August 27
September 10
September 24

Public access television helps local government fulfill its societal obligations. The members of the Dallas City Council need to know YOU and hear YOU say public access television matters in our city! Call 214.670.3738 at least 24 hours in advance to register to speak at the three City Council meetings listed above. In addition, it is vital that you call or email Mayor Leppert and all city council representatives. THE TIME IS NOW, THE SITUATION IS CRITICAL! THE MAYOR AND DALLAS CITY COUNCIL MUST HEAR YOUR VOICE. DALLAS IMEDIA NETWORK MATTERS TO OUR CITY! YES, WE WILL! Save community television in Dallas. Call me to let e know that I can count on you.


Townhall meetings began on August 11 and continue through early September. Please tell us which meeting(s) you plan to attend. Call 214. 631. 5571 (ext 304) or email Lisa Hembry. Mark your calendar to attend budget hearings with the entire council, along with the final vote. Meetings will be held the following Wednesdays at Council Chambers:


August 27
September 10
September 24 Call at least 24 hours in advance to register to speak at these meetings (City Secretary: 214. 670. 3738)


It is very important that you, call, write and email your Councilperson and the Mayor-- they are your public servants, and want to hear from you.
Join our mailing list!


Thank you for your help.
Lisa Hembry
President/CEO
214 631-5571 ext 304

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thought for the week


Issac Hayes


In the 1970's singer Issac Hayes laid the groundwork for disco, for what became known as Urban-Contemporary music and for romantics like Barry White.
Probably best known for "Theme From Shaft" which was a #1 hit in 1971. He won an Academy Award for the song and was nominated for another on for the score. The song also won him two Grammys. A self taught musician, he was hired in 1964 by Stax Records of Memphis, Tennessee.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet him when he was in Dallas in 1995. He autographed a picture for me which I will cherish. A good brother.
We will miss this music legend.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts School

There was a meeting on yesterday with members of the Washington Lincoln Alumni, Trustee Ron Price and members of the Arts community to discuss removing "Hamon Arts Magnet" from the Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet building that faces Routh Street. We all know that Mrs. Nancy Hamon donated $10 million dollars to DISD to help pay for the construction of the new wing of the school, but no one thought that "Hamon Arts Magnet" would be the new name of the school or the only name that is prominently affixed to the building. "Hamon Arts Magnet" will be removed.

Mrs. Hamon did a great and generous thing in donating the money and I am sure that the former students, current students and the community is thankful to her for her generosity, but changing the name of the school was never an option. It is my hope and prayer that there will be a way to prominently acknowledge Mrs. Hamon's gift.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Hit Dog Will Holler

My mother, rest her sole, always said "A hit dog will holler", and it looks like a lot of hollering is going on. My position has not changed about Dwaine (Dewayne, Dwayne) Caraway and Betty Culbreath.

There are two people that have openly disagreed with me and they are Sharon Boyd and Michael Davis. Michael Davis is a person who lives in District 8 and is appointed to the Dallas City Plan Commission by Dwaine Caraway to represent District 4. I think Michael is a bitter guy who is trying to make his way in politics in Black Dallas. Check him out, he is always defending Dwayne as if his life depends on making sure that anyone who says something negative about Dwaine will get his raft. Who cares about his raft?

Sharon Boyd's opinion is hers, and I hope she remembers how she has maligned many African Americans in the past few years, including Dwaine(Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway. I do not agree with all of her assessments, but I never commented. Some of the people that she has spoken negative about are my friends and mentors, but sometimes its better to leave things alone. I live in the black community, I have worked on community issues since the late 1960's and I know that I have a better feel than Sharon for what is going on in the black community. I believe that Sharon Boyd's opinion about what is going on in Black Dallas has no relevance in my community.

There is not just one opinion in the Black community, therefore everyone is not going to agree with me, but "I say what I mean and mean what I say".

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thought of the week

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.


Bill Cosby

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mill City Renaissance Update

Talk is cheap and performance cost. We want our project recognized in the upcoming bond program in 2010. We have been very patient with the wheels of government. Not one of my strong points. If your goals are attainable and ours goals are, then we need to be about our business of redeveloping our community. We are getting ready to begin the process of streetscape planning. From Fitzhugh to Scyene on 2nd Ave. Envision the trees. benches and sidewalks/crosswalks that are inviting to pedestrians. Our draw will be the Fair Park and the variety and quality of goods and services we are willing to make available to our new patrons.

By Big "Tex" Ed Harris

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dallas Housing Authority

Looks like the dirty work of getting rid of Ann Lott has been done and now Mayor Tom Leppert is going to rid himself of Betty Culbreath. So sad, but that's the way it works. Betty should know that once you are used to do the dirt, your service is no longer needed.

Where is Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne)Caraway who is one of Mayor Tom Leppert's gatekeepers? I think he is close to Betty and he is Leppert's head Negro watcher at Dallas city hall. Will he take a stand for Betty? I think that Betty also has a good relationship with Willis Johnson (another gatekeeper for Leppert), and I do not know if he will help his friend. Don't forget that Betty also has a good relationship with Tennell Adkins another disappointment to the African American community. With all of those connections, you would think that she would have very few problems getting reappointed.

I can not help but remember my situation on reappointment to the DART board and the role that this same cast of characters played.

What goes around comes around.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lancaster ISD

Things are heating up at Lancaster ISD. It is very serious when the Board of Trustees vote to hire an attorney to investigate claims that have been raised about Superintendent Larry Lewis withholding information from board members and tampering with their mail.

I have know Board President Carolyn Morris for years and I know that she is fighting for the education of the children.

Ann Lott

I told you so. Mayor Tom Leppert got his way again. That does not make it right. He used the power of not making new appointments to get Ann Lott to resign from the Dallas Housing Authority. I do not blame Ms. Lott, I would have found me something better also. Working with Betty Culbreath must have been horrible. Betty is put in positions to tear other black people down. I should know, and she should know better.

I do not know Ann Lott personally, but all that I have heard about her has been good. Yes, there were some accounting problems, but I can not see where the issue at Dallas Housing is as bad as what is happening at Dallas Independent School District with its' Audit. Forgive me, Mayor Leppert and Dallas Achieves want to take over the yearly billion dollar budget at DISD and don't forget the 1.35 billion dollar Bond program. Wasn't Leppert in the construction business? Go figure!!!!! Therefore not one peep out of Leppert about the shape of DISD.

Ms. Lott, God has a better plan for you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thought of the week

Every man's got to figure to get beat sometime.

Joe Louis

Dr. C.A.W. Clark

Another legend has passed away in Dallas. Born Caesar Arthur Walter Clark on December 13, 1914 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dr. Clark spent half a century preaching at Good Street Baptist Church in Dallas, and was known nationally for his preaching and his community work.

While growing up and attending St. James A.M.E. Church on Good Latimer Expressway, we teenagers would leave our church and go to the Baptist church which was a block away from us. That church was Good Street Baptist Church. We wanted to hear that fiery preacher preach. We would always have to leave Good Street after the preaching because our church would be over long before Good Street's services ended, and we had to be back before our parents were ready to go home.

As an adult I had the opportunity to interact with Dr. Clark when my company sold the church a copier. It was always amazing to me that he was in his office each time I went to the church on business. I would often stop and spend time talking to him. He was aging then, but that did not stop him from being there everyday and having a lively conversation with me. I always had to give him my pen. I will always have good memories of Rev. Clark.

His legacy as a preachers preacher will always be remembered. May you rest in peach Dr. C.A.W. Clark.

Friday, July 25, 2008

ARTS Magnet

Mrs. Hamon is a very generous person, and I am sure that the students, teachers, parents and community appreciate her contribution to the school. In fact, I have not heard one person say anything different.

The question is the visual that is presented when you are on Routh Street. The only name on the building is Hamon Arts Magnet. Voting to put that wording on the building was incorrect and should never have happened. It has caused an outcry from people who have seen DISD make numerous mistakes in the past.

I believe that there is a reasonable way to honor Mrs. Hamon and insure that Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts name is the only prominent name on the building.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dwaine Caraway pushing for TAX INCREASE

In an article in today's Dallas Morning News, it was stated that Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne)Caraway would be pushing his fellow council members to support a TAX INCREASE for the city of Dallas. I wonder if he is a home owner? Our taxes go up every year because the valuation of our houses increase yearly from the Dallas Central Appraisal District. Just thinking of the median income in his Council District (District 4), I would think that Caraway would only support a TAX INCREASE if there was absolutely no other way to balance the budget.

I have not seen the budget, but I wonder how much additional revenue will be going to the southern sector to insure that development will take place? My guess is there will not be a significant difference.

Caraway has been known to carry Mayor Tom Leppert's water, so maybe that is what he is doing. So sad!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts School

On the agenda for a Called Board Meeting for Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm, the Dallas Independent School District will address the issue of "Adoption of Clarification of Action Taken on August 25, 2005, regarding board file No. 46372 Consideration of Proposed Names for New and Existing Facilities, regarding Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts".

As I understand it, when you go by the campus on Flora Street, the school name is not on the building, but on a new wing of the school is Hammon Arts Magnet. It look like once again they have moved to remove the black history of Dallas. What in the world are our school board members doing?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thought of the Week

If we say that we have no sin, we
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us.


I John 1:8

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dallas Achieves/DISD/Tom Leppert

On Wednesday July 16, 2008 at 9:30 am-11:00 am in the Conference Center of The Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce at Plaza of Americas-700 N. Pearl Street (12th floor of the parking garage elevators) Dallas Achieves will have a discussion about DISD Board of Trustees Ethics Policy. Please join me and others at the meeting who are concerned about DISD. This meeting is not open to the public, but 3 DISD Trustees will be there and it is about our tax dollars.

While there are people who are apart of this group that I have great respect for, I am concerned that a non-elected group is in the position to direct the policies and people who have been elected by the citizens to run the public schools. In my opinion this is the beginning of an effort by the business community ( Mayor Tom Leppert and others) to takeover the schools for the 1 billion dollar per year operating budget and 1.35 billion dollar construction budget just voted in by the people.

President of the School Board Jack Lowe made it clear that prior to moving into Dallas from Highland Park to run for the school board that it was cleared with DISD officials that he could still do business with the district. It has also been stated that by limiting board members from doing business with DISD that it would limit the pool of people running for that office.

I do not know another public entity in Dallas where that kind of policy is allowed. Is that being pushed because Mayor Leppert believes that he will have the opportunity to appoint board members and want to leave that open for his friends?

There are more important issues at DISD. Let's spend time working on the low performing schools. The H. Grady Spruce situation shows us that we had better start talking about educating the students and not about making someone rich.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tipster Provide Break in Northpark Case

Thank God. We need more people that are willing to come forward with information on criminal activity.

Are the Southern Sector Suburbs ready to jump on DART's bus offer?

It looks like a presentation was made to the DART Board of Directors about cities like Grand Prairie, Duncanville and DeSoto ready to contribute 1/4 of a cent to join the agency for bus service only. Wait a minute,that might not be quite the truth. It was stated in The Dallas Morning News that Duncanville City Manager Kent Cagle said his city, Cedar Hill and DeSoto have approached DART together about the possibility of the agency providing on-demand bus rides for senior citizens. He also said that his city never expressed any interest in paying for a commuter bus service along the lines that animated the discussion at Tuesday' DART board meeting. And in Grand Prairie, City Manager Tom Hart said his city has had no conversations with DART officials about contracting for DART bus service.

So what is the real story? Did DART President Gary Thomas and his staff have the conversations or not? Is this another one of those steps to mislead the Board?

All types (bus,rail,para transit and HOV) of public transportation are subsidized. That means if new service is added there is a strong possibility that the 1/4 cent will not pay for the service and additional dollars will come out of the operating fund which could have an impact on future DART service plans. That is what Ray Noah was implying with his comments.

DISD Corruption Trial

I was told that it was just a matter of time before the scam being played by Ruben Bohuchot and Frankie Wong would come in question. It is my guess that there were more contracts than mentioned that could have been investigated.

These are taxpayer dollars that are not being used to better the education of the students.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Venus Williams vs Serena Williams at Wimbledon

I do not watch a lot of tennis, but when the Williams sisters are playing each other, I am glued to the television. Saturday's match was all that I thought it would be between the two siblings.

We all know about sibling rivalry and Serena was on the wining side the last time . We knew that Venus would be ready. Some have said that the Williams family made the decision that it would be Serena again, but I do not buy into that theory. Venus would have to be crazy to agree to getting her butt kicked by here little sister all of the time.

So this time at Wimbledon, Venus was ready for baby sister Serena, and beat her quickly. Venus made sure that once she had won, she did not gloat about it but you could tell she was happy.

I must admit that I am a Venus Williams fan. That does not take anything from Serena, but I just think Venus is a class act.
They did compete in the doubles as partners and won. You go Williams sisters!

Polk Street Beautification Project

Thanks to the people in my neighborhood who are working on the Polk Street Beautification Project and other ways to beautify our neighborhood. These volunteers are working to let more people know about what they are doing and wanting them to join them.

This group planted over 77 crape myrtles along the Polk Street median between Highway 67 and Red Bird Lane and will continue in phases until they reach Camp Wisdom and Interstate 20.

Good work!!!!!

DART and The "T"

I just learned over the weekend that DART and The "T" (Fort Worth Public Transportation) are having heated discussions about The "T" buying DART's trackage rights on the portion of the Cotton Belt line that is in Tarrent County. This should be interesting because over 2 years ago The "T" presented a plan to the DART board which showed that it would get to DFW Airport quicker than DART using those tracks.

Thank you Mayor Tom Leppert, Dwaine Caraway, Jerry Allen, Tennell Adkins, Ron Natinsky, Dave Newmann, Sheffie Kadane,Elba Garcia and Mitchell Rasansky for having such insight and putting people on the DART board who do not have a clue what is going on. Let's see what happens to the second downtown alignment, Monroe Shops and the extensions in Southern Dallas. Dallas is going to loose again.

Stay tuned for the Regional FIREWORKS!!!!!!!!!!

Thought for the Week

If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson

Thursday, July 3, 2008

DART's new Rail Corridor Ad Hoc Negotiation Committee

DART is doing just what I expected. They have formed a special committee of DART Board members to discuss the Cotton Belt rail line. Suburban cities have begun work on funding options to speed the process up of building the rail line. This Ad Hoc committee will have a set of recommendations to give to the full DART board in August. They want to move this along quickly.

The makeup of the Ad Hoc committee members make me wonder what is going on? Robert Strauss who is the appointee of Dallas Councilman Ron Natinsky (the representative of the North Dallas area where the Cotton Belt line will enter and exit Dallas) is not on the committee and none of the African American Southern Dallas representatives (Jerry Christian,Pamela Gates or Claude Williams) are on the committee either. The absence of some representation speaks volumes about what is going to happen with the Southern Dallas proposed extensions.

The suburban members of the DART Board are outsmarting the Dallas members on every issue. Remember the suburban members rallied to help Gary Thomas keep his job after several missteps last year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Patrick Waller "Robbed of 16 Years"

Now there are 18 that have been cleared by DNA in Dallas County. This is the most exonerated in any county in the nation since 2001.

Patrick Waller is just another example of how people have been sent to prison for crimes that they did not commit. The system is broken and have been for years. Mr. Waller was robbed of 16 years of his life and will not ever be able to get those years back. He states "It's been a struggle daily - going to bed, knowing I'm someplace I don't deserve to be." Can you imagine the feelings that have to be built up inside of a person who has been wrongfully imprisoned?

Why are so many people being exonerated in Dallas County?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Re-naming of Industrial Blvd.

It was my honest belief that the Dallas City Council should not have considered an individuals name for the re-naming of Industrial Blvd., but the council ask the public for input and the public did participate by coming forth with the name of Cesar Chavez in overwhelming numbers.

I am a firm believer in public participation and I believe that the council should honor the survey and name the street Cesar Chavez.

Teachers at Spruce

How could the district be so insensitive to the teachers? Remember that this school has been low-preforming for 4 years and Dr. Hinojosa has been with the district for 3 years. Should he go also?

This is not in defense of bad teachers, because we all know they should be gone from the classrooms, but I still question if these teachers had all of the tools needed to move the students forward. You have to ask yourself why Samuel and Comstock improved but not Spruce. Should the DISD Administration get off the hook and not be held accountable?

It is not said openly, but I have heard that out of 23 high schools they are all low-performing but 5. We need a change in leadership at DISD. Bringing in all of these corporate honchos is not the answer to educating these young people.

Thought for the Week

Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Spruce High School

At the school board meeting last night, I was moved to tears as I listened to the parents and students speak about dismantling their school. What I ascertained from the speakers was that the DISD Administration had not done all that it could do to make the learning environment better. They had not put in the resources to make the students have added help to improve. They stated that in a 4 year period, the school had 3 different principals. Now just tell me how that makes since when the school was struggling to start with?

Dr. Hinojosa would have to take responsibility because he has been with the district for three years. No one wants to acknowledge that the district failed these children.

While the district can find money to pay high salaries to some administrators, they have failed to realize the high salaries should be going to the people who work directly with the children. There is a reason why students are leaving the district yearly, bad leadership.

Dallas Achieves is not working.

Why Not Name The DISD Administion Bldg. Kathlyn Joy Gilliam?

There were 24 names listed to speak on naming the DISD administration bldg. for Mrs. Kathlyn Gilliam. A woman who served on the DISD school board for 23 years and was the first African American to be president of the school board.

There were former school board members that served with Mrs Gilliam like Honorable Harriett Earhardt, Judge Thomas Jones and Honorable Robert Price. They all spoke of her compassion for educating all children. Other elected and former elected officials like Councilwoman Carolyn Davis said "All of us are standing on the backs of people like Ms. Gilliam" and Judge Charles Rose said "There is no other person who is better deserving of such an honor". Honorable Al Lipscomb said what we all wanted to say and that was "Just name the building".

The Chairman of the Board of the Dallas Black Chamber, Ronald Hay came to speak in favor of naming the bldg. and he told the board how Mrs. Gilliam had been honored by his organization with the Willow Award which is now the community service award. She was the very first awardee.

Also listed to speak was Minister Jeffrey Mohammed, Arthur Fleming, Brenda Fields, Debra Forge, Don Johnson, Cousin Linnie Henderson, Alpha Thomas, Michael Gonzales,LeVar Thomas, Roy Williams, Alva Lipscomb, Robert Guice, Honorable Diane Ragsdale, Olynka Green (New Black Panther Party) and me.

I do not get it. The vote was along racial lines and Trustee Ron Price played the game. After being questioned by Nancy Bingham, Ron Price talked about naming a school after Mrs. Gilliam if this vote fails. I do not believe him. How many new schools have been built since his election to the board-over 9 years- and he has not named a school after her? He must think we were all born yesterday.

Jack Lowe Jr. is such a disappointment. I have known him for over 30 years and each time I go to a school board meeting, I ask myself why he would move from Highland Park to be on this board other than his company, TD Industries, being able to get contracts. President Lowe insults the audience, seems to be lost most of the time and allows the superintendent to take control of the meetings. Jack Lowe Sr. also worked with Mrs. Gilliam on desegregation issues.

The Hispanic Board members vote shows why African Americans have so much distrust in them doing the right thing by our people. Adam Medrano abstained. I believe that he knew that his grandfather, Poncho Medrano, worked with Mrs Gilliam and his family has a good name in all communities. Jerome Garza's father Trini Garza also worked with Mrs. Gilliam, but Garza has been reckless toward African American issues on this board. I do not know what history Edwin Flores has here, but I do know that the North Dallas community should find another representative. He is awful.

This is a Billion Dollar budget and that does not include the bond program,1.35 Billion. It is not about education but all about controlling the money.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gary Thomas Has New Contract

Gary Thomas sailed through his performance evaluation without a hitch. Remember he owes the suburban members for keeping his job and will be obligated to put their agenda first.

GOOD LUCK DALLAS ON ANY EXTENSIONS TO LIGHT RAIL.

Bernice J Washington/DFW Airport Board

Bernice Washington is a good choice for the DFW Airport Board. A very strong force in the community and she will be a blessing. Her name was submitted after Mayor Leppert tried to again nominate who he wanted from the African American community. The African American he wanted did not live in the city of Dallas. Thank God for council members who will not be swayed by the mayor.

Smart DART Board Appointments

There were nine not so smart Dallas City Council members who appointed a preacher -Jerry Christian and a dentist-Claude Williams who both bought no experience on such a board appointment and zero experience in transportation. The city of Plano appointed Loretta Ellerbe a former council member who was involved in transportation through the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) where she was a member.

The city of Garland appointed Tracy Whitaker who's experience includes Vice President of Xerox and manager of the Dallas offices. He has also worked in strategic positions for FEDEX/Kinko.

Compare Dallas appointees to suburban appointees and you quickly see why the citizens of Dallas will loose. Mayor Tom Leppert, Dwaine Caraway, Elba Garcia and Tennel Adkins we thank you for your poor judgement. The other council members who voted for Jerry Christian and Claude Williams were following their leaders.

TOO BAD DALLAS CANNOT GET IT RIGHT AT DART, ON THE TRINITY AND OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES IN OUR CITY.

RailDCTA/Denton County Transit Authority

I had an opportunity to speak to The Southeast Denton Neighborhood Group about commuter rail coming through their neighborhood. They have been included in meetings with DCTA but were concerned they were not getting answers to the questions that were being ask and wanted to have a better understanding of what to expect as rail becomes an intricate part of DCTA's transportation plan.

Thanks to the persons who recommended me to this group. It was a very interesting and productive meeting,and I believe that the participants in the meeting have a better idea of what to expect and will began to work closer with DCTA to structure a win-win situation.

I am a strong believer in public transportation and will continue to work from a regional prospective in transportation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DART President Gary Thomas/Performance Evaluation

Today at the DART Board meeting President Gary Thomas will get his performance evaluation. I was told this would the hottest issue on the agenda.

I bet he will get a big fat raise and probably a multi year contract and bonus because the suburban board members know what they are doing and they know they have the president where they want him. They do not care that he still has issues like over six years on the job and still getting management coaching, a billion dollar budget shortfall, low moral at the office, no appointed second in command, questions about contractor Archer Western and the $600,000 oops, and on and on with questionable actions.

Dallas will get left in the dust and you can blame Mayor Tom Leppert, Dwaine Caraway, Tennell Adkins, Mitchel Rasansky, Ron Natinsky, Jerry Allen,, Elba Garcia, Sheffie Kandae and Dave Newmann. DART will continue to meet with Dallas and tell them everything is okay, but see what happens to light rail. All emphasis are moving toward commuter rail in the region.

More Than One Path To Eternal Life

There is a wide diversity of beliefs and behaviors with people who are religious. With that in mind, there should also be the understanding that no one religion or faith has the only key to eternity. There are varying degrees of beliefs in the same faith and who has the ability to say which is right are wrong?

My strong wish is that people are believing in some higher being and are trying to live their lives in a way that will guide them to life everlasting. Living a faithful life is hard, but believing and trusting in the word can give you guidance and perseverance.

Mayor Tom Leppert and Dwaine Caraway Want To Limit Speaking at Dallas City Hall

I listen to council meetings as often as I can and know the names of some of the people that come down to speak often. They speak at the meetings about situations that they believe are not being addressed. In many cases the council members allow them their 3 minutes without comment.

The speakers at times find themselves in bitter discard with Dwaine (Dwayne,Dewayne) Caraway who often try to play the GATEKEEPER role and shut them down. Most of the speakers that are regular speakers at the council meetings are African American. Hence the term GATEKEEPER for Caraway is appropriate. Caraway in some instances have instructed the officers to remove the speakers from the council chambers, yelled at the speakers in a disrespectful tone, talked down to the speakers, and vowed to limit their opportunity to speak. Now the close alliance of Caraway and the mayor starts to take president over the will of the entire council. The mayor wants to limit public input. This is not the way the democratic process works. Maybe the mayor should return to Corporate America where the CEO speaks and everyone jumps or just shut their mouth.

Thank you councilwomen Voncil Jones Hill, Carolyn Davis and Angela Hunt. Please DO NOT DRINK THE WATER AT CITY HALL. There is a reason why the speakers take issue with Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway and now Mayor Tom Leppert wants to limit speakers.

Thought of the week

I do not ask to walk smooth paths
Nor bear an easy load.
I pray for strength and fortitude
To climb the rock strewn road.

Give me such courage I can scale
The Hardest peaks alone
And transform every stumbling block
Into a stepping stone.

Gail Brook Burket

Thursday, June 19, 2008

TAX INCREASE FOR THE CITY OF DALLAS

Councilman Tennell Adkins is pushing for a tax increase to balance the budget for the city of Dallas and Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway is saying he can not see what else they can do without raising taxes. Thank God for Councilwoman Angela Hunt who has not drank the water at Dallas City Hall.

The two councilpersons that are saying there should be a tax increase are not taking into consideration that there are fee (tax) increases that are already figured into the budget. Maybe they just do not get it. We are tired of tax increases. Citizens will soon not be able to own homes because they can not pay the taxes.

DISD Ethic's Ad Hoc Committee



I was surprised yesterday when I attended the D.I.S.D. Ethic Ad Hoc Committee meeting and took a look at the agenda. The question was raised by Board Member Carla Ranger about the way that the agenda was prepared with little information to let the public know what Ad Hoc Committee would be meeting. It was like they were trying to hide the fact that the Ethic's meeting was taking place.

I was not surprised to hear all of the tongue wagging about the very simple issue of a trustee being able to contract with the Dallas Independent School District. That is very straight forward and should not be hard to address. Trustee Bingham wanted to talk about fellow Trustees Medrano and Ranger who work for the City of Dallas and DCCCD receptively. She wanted to know if they should be able to stay in the room when there is discussion about those two institutions. I never could understand what that had to do with them making a profit from the district. Guess I'm just not as smart as Trustee Bingham.

Trustee Jerome Garza wanted to discuss the fact that the City of Dallas Councilpersons leave the room when they have a conflict and maybe the district should have the same policy, but he never elaborated on the fact that the Dallas City Councilpersons conflicts are not related to them having a contract with the city. Councilpersons nor Board Appointees can contract with the city at their time of service or for one year after serving. Usually the Councilpersons conflict are real estate related or they have stock in some large company.

Trustee Blackburn was concerned that whatever they decide should be within the law. He wanted public input but was advised by the superintendent that their should be parameters as to what the public could respond to. He also wanted a timeline that would allow them to bring discussion to the board in a couple of months. That did not seem reasonable since he wanted to call in experts also.

Trustee Flores, who is chairing the committee, was all over the place. I really thought his main function was to keep Trustee Ranger from pushing forward with her drafted ethics policy. It seems so elementary to me. If fellow trustees do not agree with Trustee Ranger's suggestion then at the appropriate time vote against it. Being disrespectful is unacceptable behavior.

To me the committee wanted to cast a wide net and comeback with nothing that will be in the best interest of the district and its stakeholders. I do not know of any other public agency in Dallas Texas where elected officials of the entity can profit directly from that entity by having a contract.

In Dallas its all about the money!!!!!!!!

HAPPY JUNETEENTH

Think of Juneteenth as black Independence Day.

On Monday, June 19, 1865, the Union Gen. Gordon Granger stood in Galveston, Texas and informed a group of residents that the world as they'd known it had come to an end: All slaves were now free.

The newly liberated slaves began celebrating immediately. They commemorated that day every year after, giving rise to Juneteenth, a celebration that is now observed throughout the United States.

Enjoy your holiday, give time to your family and pray for those who have struggled to make sure that your history is remembered.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thought for the week

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.


Edward Everett Hale

Townhall Meeting

It seems that Townhall meetings are the new buss words. If you are wondering why so many meetings these days, its because an election for council districts will be in May, 2009 and this is the smoke screen that is being put out for you the public.

It's amazing that on another site, someone "Thanks" the seniors on walkers and canes for attending a Townhall meeting. I just wonder what trick they pulled for that. I want the public not to be fooled by these people and I am wishing for new leadership in the African American community. District 4 and 8 need new leadership and I hope that people will come forth in those districts and run for council. I know that we can do better and we must do better to make sure that we do not have suck ups to Mayor Leppert and the Citizens Council. If you do not believe what I am saying just check their voting records. Talk is cheap but votes speak loudly.

Friday, June 13, 2008

DISD - Spruce High School



Spruce High School is expected to receive the state's lowest rating- academically unacceptable- for the fourth consecutive year when the state releases school rating this summer. This is an indication of how long this district will let the children continue to fail. Dr. Hinojosa has been the superintendent for 3 years and this means that during his tenure nothing has changed even though his staff has tried to implement change .


There were three options presented to the school board, but the one that might be recommended by the superintendent is to move some of the students from the low-performing school to Lincoln High School and Madison High School. What will this do to the ratings of those schools in the years to come? What resources will the district give to help these students? What will it cost to transport these students to the new schools?


I hope that the public will began to start paying closer attention to DISD. In the new bond package there will be approximately 8 new schools in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas and now we are considering moving students out of that area for academic reasons. In the last bond package Emmett Conrad and Jack Lowe, Sr. were built in the Vickery Meadows area. In the immediate area there are too few students and now the district is moving some magnet programs and other student shifts to have enough students in the new schools. It has also been reported that last year the district lost over 1,000 student therefore the student population is on the decline in DISD.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Goodbye Ann Lott

Tuesday's DHA board meeting escalated into heated words between the Chairwoman of the board and the President of Dallas Housing Authority over something that normally would not be so volatile. The big to do was about the Chairwoman proposing a policy that would prohibit staffers from adding religious messages or personal opinions to their official e-mail. The policy also would require that commissioners review agency newsletters, event programs,
invitations and other communications before they are made public. Ms. Lott, the President of DHA, took exception and felt the board would be taking control of the day to day operations of the agency.

It is reported that Betty Culbreath at one point referred to Ann Lott as "girl." Ms. Lott of course took offense to that. She wanted to be clear that she would not be spoken to that way.

Remember that Mayor Tom Leppert is the person who appoints all 5 of the board members and months ago he rushed over to the Housing Authority meeting for a photo op of him telling Ms. Lott that she had 6 months to put in place management tools to correct the accounting of the 3.8 million it received from HUD. There has never been any allegations that the money was taken just that it was not accounted for appropriately. Ms. Lott along with the board began to make what was reported by HUD and Ms. Culbreath as significant strides to improvement.

Mayor Tom Leppert is waiting to reappoint 3 of the members. If they do not vote to take Ann Lott out he will not reappoint them. We have seen this move before when he refused to appoint committees on the council until he got some votes done and then he punished council members who were not with him.

Ann Lott, has done a good job for DHA, but she is not apart of the INNER CIRCLE and will be fired by Mayor Leppert's board.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Naming the Dallas Independent School District's Administration Bldg. - Kathlyn C. Gilliam



Dallas School Board,

A very important action will take place in June, and that is the opportunity for you to vote on the naming of the administration building. In the process of your consideration, I hope that you will abstain from your usual slam dunk mentality and consider the facts about who deserves such an honor.

I am a DISD graduate and proud of the fact that I not only graduated from the district, but have spent countless hours in volunteer positions since 1981. I have firsthand knowledge that Kathlyn C. Gilliam worked to make a significant difference in the education of all children. While some would like to linger on style, lets recount the numerous accomplishments of Ms. Gilliam:

Without her fight for the court order, such specials schools as Learning Centers, Montessori and Magnet Schools would probably not be in DISD,and if that were the case, would we have the number two (Tag Magnet) in Dallas this year? She was the first African American Woman to be elected to Dallas Independent School District’s board, and a strong advocate for Minority representation in the district. In 1970 Governor Preston Smith appointed Ms. Gilliam to the State PTA Board, and in 1974 Ms Gilliam was elected to the school board without a runoff. She reached the top in 1980, when she was named President of the Dallas School Board with a unanimous vote. In 2006 “No Ways Tired: Kathlyn Gilliam and the De-Segregation of Dallas Public Schools” won first place at the Junteenth Film Festival for Best Documentary. This Documentary chronicled the community-based activism of Ms. Gilliam and the successful grassroots organization strategies that ultimately accomplished the desegregation of Dallas Public Schools.

Ms. Gilliam has been an instrument in development of Dallas Public Schools from Segregation to De-Segregation and should have the honor of naming the administration building after her.

We need the community to come out in large numbers and speak to the Board of DISD about naming the Administration building for Ms. Gilliam. The meetings will be held at 3700 Ross Avenue. Please show your love and support for an icon in our community while she is still with us.

There are two speaking opportunities:

Briefing: Thursday June 12th at 11:00 am. You must call Wed. June 11th before 3:00 pm.

Board Meeting: Thursday June 26th at 5:30 pm. You must call Wed. June 25th before 3:00 pm.

The number to call is 972-925-3700 ask for Board Services.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mill City Renaissance Association

If you want to sell property on 2nd Ave, Buy a business, long term lease, expand your business or just need to be aware of what can be done to preserve our business corridor. Contact Mill City Renaissance at 214-500-4233.

Thought of the week

One who makes no mistakes, never makes anything.


Josh Hixson in Preston Hollow Peoples reports that Councilman Mitchell Rasansky was thrilled with the vote by Dallas city council to tow uninsured motorist. " It took me four-and-a half years to get this" Rasansky said. The vote eventually was 9-6 when a vote to table lost by 8-7 (all minority councilpersons voting to table). The successful vote of 9-6 had only one minority councilperson, Dwaine Caraway voting with Rasansky.

Rasansky switched his vote on the DART board nomination and voted with Caraway and Mayor Leppert. Wonder why???????????

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lancaster Independent School District's Audit




There have been speculations about what would come out of the TEA audit, but most never thought that it would be at the level of the TEA considering appointing a financial conservator. That is one of the strictest sanctions that is available to TEA. There appears to be several reasons for this consideration:

1. Attendance inflation (letting seniors leave and counting them present when they were not in class). This seems to be a practice by some other districts.
2. Improperly spent $652,000 in bond money.
3. Reported a $3.6 million fund balance to the balance sheet; the actual was a balance of negative $2.3 million (used a short term loan to show the difference).
4. Kept inaccurate budget records, including failing to properly record a $6 million loan.
5. Charged travel expenses on a district credit card while receiving per diem allowances of those costs.


Carolyn Morris, the newly elected president of the school board is anxious to get answers from Superintendent Dr. Larry Lewis. We trust that she will give him ample opportunity to answer all questions by board member, but we also know that she will take whatever actions are necessary to improve the education of the children in the Lancaster ISD.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Greater Dallas Planning Council's proposed Transportation Policy Statement

The Greater Dallas Planning Council will be meeting on June 19th to discuss a proposed Transportation Policy Statement which includes consolidating and streamlining regional transportation organizations and agencies (DART,The T, and Denton County Transit Authority). It also is proposing to have a balanced approach of reallocating existing local sales tax authority (Dallas pays more in to DART than the other 12 member cities combined). The T only collects 1/2 of 1 cent and Denton County have only two cities paying into their system. That would make DART the cash cow of public transportation in this region.

While we should be working from a regional approach, Dallas will find itself the looser in this consolidation. If all will remember, after the Green line, Orange line and the extension to Rowlett, all other light rail projects are in the city of Dallas and they are in the southern sector which would include West Dallas. I worked very hard to make sure that in the DART long range plan (2030) the Southern Sector would get more light rail so that the residents would not have access to buses only.

Where is the city of Dallas on this issue? Where are the Dallas elected officials on this issue? Who on the DART board will question the wisdom of such a move by the suburbs?

Watch this very closely and remember that the region is looking at commuter rail not light rail. There are cities that are growing fast in the northern area like McKinney, Allen and Frisco who would benefit from such a strategy. The DART northern member cities like Plano, would also benefit from this consolidation. How does this benefit Lancaster, Cedar Hill and Duncanville?

Watch what happens in Arlington, a city who consistently said they did not want public transportation, but now that the Cowboy stadium is there, they want to jump pass other cities that have been paying in to the system over 20 years (reallocating of sales tax revenue). Who is going to pay for that?

Please keep your eye on this and watch what position Dallas will take.