City News Roundup
This roundup of Dallas news includes an update on the city's big IT data loss; a protest taking place this weekend; the possible creation of a new ethics task force; and happy news about a trail.
Here's what's happening in Dallas this week:
IT data loss
The City of Dallas IT Department submitted its analysis of the massive data loss scandal, when the city lost 20.9 terabytes of data, totaling 8.26 million individual files, in two events during March.
The data loss impacted archive files of the Dallas Police Department and consisted of archived images, videos, audio files, and case notes.
The report fingers a city IT employee as the cause of the deletions, and makes recommendations for changes to prevent it from happening again. The full report can be viewed here.
Dallas pro-choice advocates are joining a national protest against Texas' extreme new abortion law on Saturday October 2. The Dallas Reproductive Liberation March takes place at Main Street Garden Park at 1902 Main St. at 1 pm.
The "heartbeat" law bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, even though women hardly know they're pregnant at that point.
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas, and the state is already losing business: David Simon, creator of The Wire, said he won't film his new HBO series in Dallas-Fort Worth because of the restrictive law.
"I'm turning in scripts next month on an HBO non-fiction miniseries based on events in Texas, but I can't and won't ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film there," Simon said. "What else looks like Dallas/Fort Worth?"
Ethics task force
In a showy news conference on September 27, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson unveiled plans for an ethics task force that would investigate complaints of fraud, waste, corruption, or misconduct. It begins with the creation of an Office of the Inspector General, which would be a go-to place for ethics complaints.
This follows the lead of other cities such as Houston and Chicago who have formed similar offices.
No longer just film
The organization formerly known as the Dallas Film Commission will now be called "The Dallas Film & Creative Industries Office."
The organization, which falls under VisitDallas, will now encompass film & television, music, animation and interactive (which includes game development and design, virtual reality and augmented reality), advertising, literature and photography.
The office drew some criticism when it responded in a tweet to producer David Simon, who said he would not film his new HBO series in DFW. "We need talent/crew/creatives to stay & vote, not get driven out by inability to make a living," the tweet said.
Responses such as this were typical: "What you need to do, @DallasCommish is deal with what is happening in your living room, rather than ask the rest of us to suffer, pay your rent, and watch others suffer to do so," it said.
The Circuit Trail Conservancy broke ground on the first phase of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, the first and longest trail to complete "The Loop." It consists of 11 miles of additional trails that will extend from White Rock Lake to the Lawnview DART station, connecting 39 miles of trails that have already been built.
In the 2017 bond election, voters approved $20 million for the project, with $13 million coming from Dallas County and the Texas Department of Transportation, and another $10 million from private donations.
A new piece by Dallas artist Niva Parajuli called Chin Chin & Muck Muck, 2021 will be toasted at a reception on October 1 from 5:30-7:30 pm at 707 Townhomes, a new housing development at 707 West Commerce St. in West Dallas from real estate developer Oaxaca Interests. Parajuli is an MFA candidate at Southern Methodist University and the 2020 recipient of the Jones Zelle Grant and Doolin Fund at SMU.