It was a busy week in local and national news with a jam-packed Dallas City Council meeting where they passed a number of initiatives including scooters and new Mayor Pro Tems. There was good news about the high-speed train but very bad news from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Roe vs. Wade
The Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion that has been in effect since 1973. Specifically, they ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, upholding Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban and overturning Roe v. Wade, leaving reproductive rights to be determined by the states.
This would be the same SCOTUS that on June 23 said that states don't have the ability to regulate guns. Guns no; women's bodies, yes. The same SCOTUS that is also talking about reconsidering Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell — rulings that protect contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.
So there are protests. Protests in Dallas, protests in Austin, protests everywhere:
- On Friday June 24, there's a small one in downtown Dallas at 6:30 pm at 1014 Main St., to rally, resist, and reject this attack on reproductive and abortion rights.
- On Sunday, June 26, there's a big Rally for Reproductive Freedom at 5 pm when gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke joins pro-choice organizations in hosting a statewide rally for reproductive freedom at Pan American Neighborhood Park, 2100 E. 3rd St. in Austin.
- On Wednesday, June 29, there's a Rally for Abortion Justice at 12 noon at Dallas City Hall, hosted by a coalition of groups that include The Afiya Center, Jane's Due Process, Fund Texas Choice, Texas Equal Access Fund, Avow, ACLU, and Planned Parenthood.
For more extensive abortion coverage, visit Home With the Armadillo, the Substack publication by writer Andrea Grimes.
Scooters are back. Dallas City Council voted to bring back electric scooters after a two-year absence, with a new set of regulations that include a mandatory lamp in front and red reflector on the rear, plus designated zones where scooters are prohibited or must be driven at reduced speed. Scooters must be parked standing upright on concrete or in designated spaces, and cannot be parked in intersections, on roadways, sidewalks, private property, or public parks. Children must wear helmets, and cannot ride them on city sidewalks or in public parks.
The high-speed train between Dallas and Houston got the greenlight from the Texas Supreme Court on June 24, which ruled that Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure Inc. and Integrated Texas Logistics Inc. are "interurban electric railway companies" with the power to use eminent domain, and can use that authority to acquire land for the route.
Smart glass has been installed at DFW Airport's new "High C" gates, on the heels of a four-gate expansion at Terminal D, which opened last May. The project will add five newly renovated gates to Terminal C. The Smart Glass is by View and uses artificial intelligence to automatically adjust in response to the sun, maximizing access to natural light and outdoor views while blocking heat and glare and reducing energy consumption from lighting and HVAC.
View Inc. has had some tough times but its Smart Glass is now at a number of airports including Boston, San Francisco, New York LaGuardia, Charlotte, O'Hare, Phoenix, Seattle-Tacoma, Memphis, Bozeman Yellowstone, and Missoula.
Mayor Pro Tems
New Mayor Pro Tems were elected for the next term of the Dallas City Council, something that happens every year. Council Member Carolyn King Arnold was elected Mayor Pro Tem, replacing Chad West. Council Member Omar Narvaez was elected Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, replacing Jaime Resendez.
Trinity River National Water Trail
The Dallas section of the Trinity River National Water Trail will officially open with a ribbon-cutting on June 25 at 10 am at Trammell Crow Park, 3700 Sylvan Ave. Trammell Crow Park is one of 21 official canoe launches along the 130-mile water trail, giving outdoor enthusiasts a means of launching a canoe, kayak of raft into the river. The Trinity River National Water Trail became official on October 22, 2020 when Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed the National Parks Service recommendation to create the 130-mile Trinity River National Water Trail, one of only 33 National Water Trails in the nation. A map is available at TrinityCoalition.org.