City News

White Rock Lake clear-cutting leads this round of Dallas news

White Rock Lake clear-cutting leads this round of Dallas news

White Rock Lake Old Fish Hatchery Oncor
Lake is to the left. The tan stripe on the right is the area that was mowed down. Photo courtesy of Dale Greer

In this summary of Dallas city news, the return of scooters is being floated. Street racing continues to be a troubling epidemic. And a patch of green near White Rock Lake got mowed down.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Scooter comeback
The Dallas City Council is considering the return of scooters on city streets, but only with the understanding that operators will hew to the rules, including verifying the age of users so that juveniles can't use them; disabling the scooters at night; and keep them evenly distributed, no more than eight scooters per block. They'll only allow two companies to operate. A public meeting is supposed to take place on October 15.

Street racing
Street racing and stunts are the annoying pest that won't go away. They're tying up Dallas police and authorities are pleading with racers to stop. According to data fom the DPD, on the weekend of October 3-4, the Southwest Patrol Street Racing Task Force responded to 48 racing calls, made 26 arrests, and issued 101 tickets. Statistics show that, on some weekends, there are up to 1,500 racers across Dallas, versus 500-600 DPD officers on patrol. Dallas is a magnet for racers because the DPD has a "no chase" policy, since high-speed chases can be harmful to officers and the public. Other cities allow officers to chase all racers, so the racers come to Dallas.

Pet care desert
KERA has been doing stories on the deplorable animal situation in Dallas including one that documents how few resources are available south of I-30. The area has almost no pet stores or vet clinics, and meanwhile, approximately 70 percent of the 40,000 cats and dogs that end up in the shelter come from those same neighborhoods.

KERA recently did a story about Maria Flores, a woman who surrendered her very sick dog to the shelter, and was then jailed and placed in an immigration detention Flores was eventually released and will not be prosecuted for animal cruelty, but she could still be deported.

In May, Dallas Animal Services launched a new "service" for pet owners who are trying to surrender their pets. If you call 3-1-1, the call gets routed to an intervention center run by Spay Neuter Network.

Oncor landscaping
Tree trimming and brush clearing are currently on hold after Oncor clear-cut a 5-acre path beneath its power lines at the Old Fish Hatchery Nature Area near White Rock Lake.

Conservationists protested the electricity company's thoughtless use of bulldozers, which decimated an area rife with vegetation and wildlife. The Old Fish Hatchery was established in the 1930s and is home to birds, amphibians, beaver, mink, weasel, fox, and coyote. The woods on either side of the right away are part of the OFH Nature Area.

According to Kelly Cotten, a longtime advocate for the area, the clear cut sliced through the southern third of the nature area. In a YouTube video, he says the area that was cut spans 5 acres, out of 50 acres total, IE one tenth of the space.

District 9 Councilwoman Paula Blackmon said in a Facebook post that city officials were not alerted that the tree trimming was scheduled, and will meet with Oncor on how to prevent a repeat.

But this episode was a repeat of a similar clear-cutting that occured 20 years ago, when TXU did the same thing.