City News Roundup

Bishop Arts drama tops the talkers in this week's Dallas city news

Bishop Arts drama tops the talkers in this week's Dallas city news

Alamo Manhattan development in Bishop Arts
This proposal for Bishop Arts is not being met favorably. Courtesy photo

The biggest story in Dallas this week was the city council's repeal of the plastic bag law that went into effect on January 1, with a tour de force presentation by outgoing city council member Dwaine Caraway, detailed here. But bags weren't the only topic. There's controversy in Bishop Arts and more heads rolling in the DA's office. Here are the highlights:

DA firings
District attorney Susan Hawk fired three staffers: investigator Jeff Savage, digital forensic examiner Jonathan Hay and community relations manager Cristal Retana. It's jarring because it's the second round of firings Hawk has executed since she took office; in March, she fired chief assistant Bill Wirskye and administrative chief Jennifer Balido.

Savage, who'd worked for the office for 26 years, was only 10 months away from retirement eligibility. He said he hoped Hawk would change her mind, and that he would accept a demotion.

Not in my Bishop Arts
The Oak Cliff Gateway development proposed for Bishop Arts is not being met favorably by its citizens. The proposal by Alamo Manhattan of five-story apartment buildings, restaurants and retail has generated Facebook indignation and the inevitable petition. Is the development truly onerous, or is Bishop Arts coming late to a process that's been in the works for years and overreacting to inevitable development?

City council member Scott Griggs offers reassuring words, stating that it's his understanding that the project is already undergoing significant modifications. "The important point for us to remember is that the designs made public recently are very preliminary designs that will be subjected to a rigorous public review process that has not even begun yet," he says.

The project must go through four stages before it gets a shot at the city funding it seeks, including approvals from the Urban Design Peer Review Committee, the TIF board, the economic development committee and finally the city council.

Trolley downtown
On Saturday, June 6, there'll be a celebration of the new extension of the M-Line Trolley, whose loop now runs from McKinney Avenue into the city's central business district. One of the dumbest things ever was the fact that it used to just stop in the middle of nowhere on St. Paul Street, not even reaching Ross Avenue. It now keeps going down St. Paul, to the DART rail, then makes a circle before returning on Olive Street.

You can ride free on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm by picking up a token at The Rustic, which will also provide discounts on wine, beer, burgers and other goodies at businesses along the trolley route.