City News Roundup
Mayor Mike Rawlings' letter gets leaked and more news from around Dallas
Given the shortage of funds and overwhelming public dislike, it seems unfathomable that some local mucky-mucks would still think the Trinity River toll road is a good idea, or that they might still be trying to lobby for it. But they do and they are. Fortunately, we can protest that in the streets, thanks to a move by the Dallas City Council.
Check out those stories and more of what happened this week in Dallas news:
Trinity River toll road shenanigans
Even though nooooobody wants a toll road along the Trinity Parkway, there's still people digging their heels in. The Trinity Commons Foundation is trying to raise funds to enable a redesign. The people fronting that are former Dallas city manager Mary Suhm and Trinity Commons Foundation executive director Craig Holcomb. Mayor Mike Rawlings is hosting a meeting about it on Wednesday at 8:15 am at Trinity Groves; he sent out a letter to a small group of people, but the letter made it onto Facebook. After the breakfast club meets and formulates some recommendations, there will be a public meeting. The Dallas City Council will then vote to accept or reject them.
Trains in the city
DART made a presentation to the Dallas City Council's transportation committee detailing plans to expand transit downtown. The agency has a shot at federal funds it could use to begin the second rail line through downtown that's been planned for a long time. Where it goes hinges on the location of the high-speed bullet train between Dallas and Houston. Texas Central Railway, the private company developing the line, has narrowed it down to five possibilities, all in the Central Business District. Texas Central Railway and DART want to connect the bullet train to DART, TRE, Amtrak, and any other trolleys or rail lines in development.
Jail visits by video
Inmates in Dallas County jails can now visit with their families and friends via video — but the visitors will have to pay. Dallas County officials approved a video program where calls will cost $10 for a 20-minute visit. County judge Clay Jenkins protested that it was a hardship on poor people and that officials could follow up and ban "through the glass" visitation, but he was the only one to vote against it.
Sticking it to the man
The Dallas City Council will let protesters protest again. They repealed an ordinance they passed earlier this year that placed arbitrary restrictions on protesters. Council member Philip Kingston and others said that the ordinance was an affront to free speech. Right on! Fight the power!
Chinese buying up Texas
Real estate professionals are seeing lots of new customers from out of town, especially China. They like the cheap prices of housing in the suburbs — Collin County in particular. But they're also buying condos in the city. Texas comes in third as the place where foreigners want to buy, behind Florida and California. "The Chinese people have a ton of money, and they pay cash," says an agent.
One whistleblower lawsuit, coming right up
A Dallas ISD school board panel on Thursday denied an appeal for Jeremy Liebbe, who was fired in September following an investigation he conducted into his boss, Tonya Sadler Grayson,who did not reveal her criminal history on her application. His father is lawyer Bill Liebbe, who vowed to file a lawsuit on Jeremy's behalf for whistleblower protection violations and defamation.