Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NAACP Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Andrea Clark (214)394-7779 or (214)741-1809

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 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


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.