City News Roundup
Trinity River fantasies and early voting fuel this round of Dallas city news
Now that Ebola has hit New York, it no longer has to be Dallas' fault. But we do have Ebola updates as well as a bunch of transportation-related news that we'll try to distill into the kind of bite-sized chunks that make this Friday column wrapping up the Dallas news of the week such a breezy-yet-transfixing read.
Trinity River fantasies
Gail Thomas, director of the Trinity Trust, a nonprofit that's involved in the development of the Trinity River Corridor (and has only 1,400 likes on its Facebook page), made a fanciful presentation to the Dallas City Council on October 20, describing an entertainment complex that
couldn't could possibly be built in the levees, with $76 million that they don't yet have. The list of amenities included spray parks, fire rings, a climbing wall, a BMX track, kayak rentals and a disc golf course.
Putting aside its odd fixation on striped shirts, the presentation was misleading and did not address a number of reality-based questions, including the fact that it showed a four-lane road instead of the six-lane road that is actually being proposed, that it showed an additional lake not there, and that there would be no way to access the complex.
In this week's Ebola news
Now free of the Ebola virus, nurse Nina Pham is out of the hospital in Maryland and headed back to Dallas. On her way out of town, she got to meet President Barack Obama, who gave her a hug. Soon she will be reunited with her darling dog Bentley, who has perhaps received even more attention than she has. It's quite a fuss but maybe it reinforces the value of animals and the positive role played by Dallas Animal Services and its support group, Dallas Companion Animal Project.
Would Pham be amused by the Halloween decorations draped over one townhouse in the Park Cities? A homeowner has installed an Ebola-themed Halloween theme that includes hazmat trash cans, neon cones and caution tape. Too soon?
Yes to more bike trails
The Regional Transportation Council, an arm of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, approved a plan to expand bike and walking trails around Dallas. The nearly $20 million needed to finance them will come from Dallas County and the City of Dallas, and it will be spread out over the next few years. There's a list of about 30 bike and pedestrian projects that officials hope will link all the trails together as well as to DART rail stations.
Addison has had it about up to here with DART
After waiting 31 years and contributing more than $220 million, the City of Addison is considering pulling the plug with DART. After learning that it could be another 20 years before Addison gets a rail line, Mayor Todd Meier and city staffers are going to explore alternatives. Addison helped form DART in 1983; pulling out would require a citywide election.
Addison sits along the Cotton Belt line, but DART has said it can't even begin to start running trains until 2035. An alternative plan — to pave the area where the train would go and run buses instead — doesn't appeal to Addison or other cities in Collin County.
RIP L.M. Kit Carson
L.M. Kit Carson, award-winning screenwriter/actor/producer whose extensive and varied credits include writing the screenplay for Texas Chainsaw Massacre and co-writing Paris, Texas, died on October 20 after a long illness; he was 73. His son Hunter posted a goodbye on Facebook; Robert Wilonsky shared some memories, as did film critic Matt Zoller Seitz.
Early voting NOW
Early voting has begun in anticipation of voting day, which this year falls on November 4. In this election, we're voting for our U.S. senator and a number of U.S. representatives, a large number of judges, some state senators and state representatives. But the big ones are the races for governor and lieutenant governor. This is not the place to get political, so just go vote for Wendy and Leticia, and be done with it.
Dallas County has 25 full-time early voting locations in libraries, schools, city halls and recreation centers throughout the county; the list is here. With the strict new photo ID law, all registered voters are now required to present an approved form of photo identification. That includes a driver's license, personal identification card, passport and, of course, a concealed handgun license. The period to vote early runs through October 31. DO IT.