In this roundup of Dallas city news, Lyft and Uber step up for the ladies, and an art installation steps up for the homeless. The city's sanitation department is trying a pilot program to cut back on trash, and D Magazine loses out on a lawsuit it filed against a writer.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Restorative Farms and Love, Tito's will be transforming a large neighborhood plot adjacent to the Hatcher Station Training Farm, next to the Hatcher DART Station at 4527 Scyene Rd., into an apprentice farm for new growers. The project includes the addition of a hoop house, rainwater catchment system, and GroBox construction and planting, to transform the space into a functioning farm. Restorative Farms provides seedlings, soil, and educational materials. Love, Tito's has funded similar GroBox projects for nonprofits in Austin, San Antonio, Nashville, and Philadelphia.
Lyft and Uber will pay their drivers' legal fees should they be sued under Texas' recently implemented restrictions on abortions, which prohibit the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and allow private individuals to sue abortion providers and receivers. The ride-hailing companies are following the example of other big tech companies such as GoDaddy, Match Group, and Bumble.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Texas on September 9, challenging the state's new abortion restrictions. It followed comments made by Gov. Greg Abbott regarding the six-week timeframe that seemed to indicate he lacked an understanding of how a woman's monthly cycle works.
D lawsuit dismissed
The owners of D Magazine were foiled in their efforts to shut down a writer who was questioning whether their policies are racist. Allison Publications filed a lawsuit in June 2021 against a Black female writer, claiming she was interfering with their business relationships because she had been contacting their advertisers, and were seeking damages of between $200,000 up to $1 million.
The writer, who went by a pseudonym to avoid retaliation, filed a statement with the 431st Judicial District Court of Denton County, noting that D's staff, as well as most of its coverage, was white. At a hearing on September 9, the court agreed to dismiss the case.
Charitable Van Gogh
Immersive Van Gogh, the art installation celebrating painter Vincent van Gogh, has launched a charitable partnership with The Stewpot.
The Stewpot serves the homeless and at-risk individuals from its downtown headquarters at 1835 Young St., where its outreach includes more than 8 million meals, resources for basic survival needs, and opportunities to start a new life, including its Art Program and Gallery.
The Dallas venue for Immersive Van Gogh is Lighthouse Artspace Dallas at 507 S. Harwood St., in downtown's East Quarter. Their retail gift shop now includes a collection of about a dozen rotating paintings created by artists and program participants from The Stewpot — many inspired by Vincent van Gogh. Painting sales and donations go directly to the artists. Thousands of dollars of artwork has already been sold, benefitting Stewpot artists directly.
The city's sanitation department is spearheading a new pilot program in six neighborhoods where they'll stop collecting bulky items every month and instead will do it quarterly.
Called "Brush and Bulky Item Separation Pilot," the program will take place between October and December 2021. The sanitation department will limit bulky trash pick-up — busted chairs and other items that won't fit in your trash bin — to once every three months. They will, however, continue to pick up brush every month.
According to the city, the Department of Sanitation has provided brush and bulky item collection service at a loss over the last two years. The volume has increased, along with labor and equipment costs. Rate increases are anticipated, but they're trying to head it off. They also want to separate the brush from the bulky, so they can recycle the brush into compost and mulch. Brush is the service that is most in demand.
"Under our present program, brush and bulky waste are picked up in one pile, in one set out at the curb, and it all ends up in the landfill," interim assistant director Clifton Gillespie told WFAA. "Our current waste diversion rate is around 20 percent, and by being able to divert the brush that we collect citywide, we estimate that we will double that diversion rate to 40 percent."
Six communities have been selected for the pilot program:
- Oak Park North/Twin Oaks
- Ledbetter Gardens/Westmoreland Heights
- Highland Hills
- Pemberton/Trinity Forest
- Casa View Oaks
- Schreiber Manor/Forestcrest Estates
Dallas Heritage Village is hosting two vaccination Pfizer clinics, one in September, one in October. Admission is free, and you also get to enjoy the village while you're there.
- Vaccination Clinic 1: September 18, 10 am-2 pm
- Vaccination Clinic 2: October 9, 10 am-2 pm
The village is at 1515 S. Harwood St.