City News Roundup
A complaint has been lodged against the judge in Dallas' most prominent murder trial of the year. TxDOT needs your two cents. And the mayor of Dallas needs directions on how to find the Lucchese boot store.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Take my bible
The Freedom of Religion Foundation has filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct regarding the ostentatious bible gifting of State District Judge Tammy Kemp, who presided over the trial of Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer convicted of the murder of Botham Jean.
The complaint states that, after Guyger was sentenced, Judge Kemp gifted her with her own personal Christian bible; instructed her on how to read it and which passages to read; then prayed.
"These proselytizing actions overstepped judicial authority, were inappropriate and were unconstitutional," their complaint says.
The foundation says that Judge Kemp's action crossed the line into coercion.
TxDOT public meeting
TxDOT is hosting a public meeting to discuss the future of transportation in Texas, which is great, but ugh, it's in Arlington.
The Texas Transportation Plan 2050, or TTP 2050, will guide TxDOT's planning and programming for the next 30 years and set long-range goals for all transportation modes — roadways, transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and freight.
The agency has already gathered public feedback on statewide goals and objectives, regional priorities and challenges, and transportation behaviors and preferences. Now they are collecting public input on how to invest resources in performance improvements, IE, how to spend their money.
The meeting is October 9 from 5:30-7 pm, at North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Council Meeting Room, 616 Six Flags Dr., Arlington. If you can't make the meeting, you can provide comments via email at TTP_2050@txdot.gov or by calling 1-855-839-2750.
Deck park fund-raising
The Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation has raised the first $1 million in a campaign to build a deck park over I-35E in Southern Dallas. The Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation is the private, non-profit partner in a public/private partnership with the City of Dallas to build, operate, and maintain the Southern Gateway Deck Park. The Park is the green space planned for the deck above I-35E between Ewing and Marsalis Avenues. The Foundation leveraged a $500,000 grant from The Eugene McDermott Foundation to raise an additional $500,000 from foundations and private donors. The final cost is estimated at $28 million.
In sort of related news, there'll be two overnight full closures of I-35E between Ewing Avenue and Marsalis Avenue on October 4-6, as part of the Southern Gateway Project, a $666 million construction project by TxDOT to rebuild and widen I-35E south of downtown Dallas, as well as widen U.S. 67 between I-35E and I-20 and the I-35E/U.S. 67 split.
- Friday October 4, 10 pm to Saturday October 5, 6 am: All southbound I-35E lanes between Ewing and Marsalis, and north- and southbound Ewing Avenue and Marsalis Avenue at I-35E, will be closed overnight. Southbound I-35E traffic will take the Ewing Avenue exit ramp and continue on the southbound frontage road to the Marsalis Avenue entrance ramp.
- Saturday October 5, 9 pm to Sunday October 6, 6 am: All northbound I-35E lanes between Marsalis Avenue and Ewing Avenue and north- and southbound Marsalis Avenue and Ewing Avenue at I-35E, will be closed overnight. Northbound I-35E traffic will take the Marsalis Avenue exit ramp and continue on the northbound frontage road to the Ewing Avenue entrance ramp.
For Texans, the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming constitutional amendment election this fall is Monday October 7. Those interested in voting on ballot items on November 5, 2019 can find out if they are registered to vote in the state, how to register if not, and discover where they can cast their ballots by visiting the links on the Texas Coalition for State Parks’ elections page at: www.supporttexasparks.org/election/.
The mayor's boots
It's totally not embarrassing to Dallas residents that their newly elected mayor sent out a tweet on September 27 complaining to Lucchese that a pair of boots he owns does not fit correctly.
@Lucchese1883 I have a pair of custom made Luccheses that I need redone. They were never right from the time I took delivery of them years ago. Whom do I need to call to finally get them right? Thanks!— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) September 28, 2019
It's totally not self-absorbed or arrogant, when Lucchese tweeted back, "We would love for you to visit us so we can address this problem!" that the mayor responded, "DM me the address and who I should ask for when I get there."