This week's top stories in Dallas hit on some of our favorite topics, namely transportation, budgets, and animals. Here's the highlights:
One begins to form the impression that Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, reheally likes freeways. His latest cause: a highway that would run east-to-west across the top half of Dallas.
In November, he presented two potential routes. One would originate at I-35, and cross through Oak Lawn and Uptown to connect with US 75 near Fitzhugh. The other would run along Northwest Highway between Webb Chapel and Hillcrest Roads.
Neither neighborhood seems likely to embrace a freeway, but Morris claims that such a road is needed to reduce congestion on Woodall Rodgers Freeway, as well as streets near Love Field and the Medical District.
Dallas binge and purge
It feels like the city just put the 2015-16 budget to bed, but Dallas city council member Scott Griggs already has a first look at budgets of the future. A chart shows huge discrepancies between what's budgeted and what's ostensibly needed. Griggs questions why there's no money for basics like street repair, while the city is still borrowing money for big bond programs, and calls it "the binge and purge" of Dallas.
"In the good times, bigger and bigger budgets and bond programs, then in the bad times, layoffs and huge quality of life cuts," he says. "Hopefully we can get off this roller coaster."
City council member Philip Kingston insists that Dallas take care of the basics such as streets, signals, sidewalks, drainage, and parks.
"There are people in this town (most don't actually live here) who will try to shoehorn $250 million into the bond package for say, convention center upgrades," he says. "I'm going to try to show a little leadership here by not using foul language to respond to that idea. Suffice it to say DON'T VOTE FOR THAT. If I can, I'll try to prevent it from being on your ballot."
Cowboys + puppies
There's a calendar on the way featuring some of the finer Dallas Cowboys modeling with puppies, to be released on December 10. Players include defensive end David Irvin, lineman La'el Collins, and guard McKenzie Bernadeau. The calendars are $20, with proceeds going to Dallas Companion Animal Project, a non-profit organization that partners with Dallas Animal Services.
The calendars will be for sale at a select handful of vendors such as The Upper Paw in Deep Ellum, Ten Bells in Oak Cliff, and Eight Bells Alehouse in Exposition Park. For more information, go to DallasAnimals.org.
A Dallas man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for placing a Chihuahua puppy Buddy on a hot stove. Bradley Boley was punishing the puppy for "nipping" him. Boley claimed that Buddy reached his paw out of his kennel to turn on the stove himself, but police said that the burners had safety knobs. The dog had to be euthanized.
Boley potentially would have received more jail time, but the jury determined that a stove could not be viewed as a "weapon."