In this week's roundup of Dallas news, the city received a big grant for the arts. Drive-thru vaccine shots are back at Fair Park. A marker will be dedicated in commemoration of a horrific lynching. And the newspaper is still v.v. unhappy with a public data situation.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
The Dallas Morning News continues its giant public pout regarding the redaction of certain information from online police reports by the Dallas Police Department, which the DPD says is to protect information regarding victims and preserve the integrity of investigations.
The paper is turning this into a freedom-of-information crusade with self-important stories such as "Police data removed by Dallas officials has helped The News tell about the lives of homicide victims." Whenever you refer to yourself in third-person, you know the self-righteous level is high.
Survivors of crimes say they are relieved that personal information such as their name, birthdate, home address, or phone number is not readily available on the open data portal.
The reality is that the information the newspaper needs to perform its journalisms still exists, but it's on the DPD's police reports. Police reports which the newspaper can request. It's just not as easy as looking online.
In its coverage, the paper also seems to be sloppily/confusingly combining two distinct portals — the DPD's info and the Open Data portal — into one. Maybe they could write a story about that.
Allen Brooks memorial
The Dallas County Justice Initiative (DCJI) will dedicate a national marker in commemoration of Allen Brooks, a Black man who was lynched in Dallas on March 3, 1910. According to the DCJI, Brooks was on trial and was thrown from the window of the Old Red Courthouse, then his lifeless body was hanged before a crowd of 5,000 angry bystanders.
Brooks was one of more than 4,400 African Americans who were lynched across 20 states between 1877 and 1950. The marker is part of a public acknowledgment of mass violence by DCJI and Dallas County, and a movement towards healing for victims, survivors, and perpetrators.
The Allen Brooks Memorial Marker Dedication is on November 20 and will begin at Main & Akard at 11 am. A reception will take place at the Old Red Court House at 100 S. Houston St. at 1 pm; it's free, but requires a ticket for entrance.
The City of Dallas' Office of Arts and Culture (OAC) has been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.
The City of Dallas will get $250,000 which will be used to support arts projects by ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) artists and organizations across Dallas in the Culture of Value micro-grants program.
The Culture of Value program was piloted by the City of Dallas, Office of Arts and Culture in the Fall of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of ALAANA artists across Dallas, to meet the needs of neighborhoods to experience arts across Dallas. The pilot supported 71 artists and organizations through over $200,000 in grants to create art experiences virtually and in neighborhoods across Dallas for residents in diverse communities.
In total, the NEA is awarding grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for subgranting. For more information including the full list of agencies who received funds, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.
Vaccination clinic is back
Free COVID-19 vaccinations return to Fair Park on November 21 with vaccinations from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, plus flu shots, distributed at a drive-thru clinic in parking lot 13.
Fair Park had previously served as a vaccination site but closed in July after six months in operation.
On November 19, the Food & Drug Administration approved COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, to offset a potential increase in coronavirus cases during the holidays. At least 10 states have already started offering boosters to all adults.