Photo by Igal Ness on Unsplash

If you thought March 14 was solely dedicated to Pi Day, you’d be wrong. Equal Pay Day is also celebrated on the same day - a day to examine the decades of advocacy to extinguish the pay gap between men and women.

Unfortunately, nationwide the gap is still large. The latest Census Bureau says women make 18 percent less money than men do. We know the numbers for Texas and several of its cities, thanks to a new study by small biz experts Chamber of Commerce. They investigated the earnings for full-time workers in 170 of the most populous cities in the United States.

The analysis found that Texas has the 29th largest pay gap out of all 50 states, with women making nearly $11,000 less than men. Texas women can be glad they don’t live in Wyoming, which has the largest pay gap of the states at almost $19,000.

Just how do DFW cities stack up?

The news is not great. Several of the area’s suburban cities have higher gender pay gaps, including Frisco, which has the second highest in the nation (behind the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale, California). McKinney also appears in the top five for the highest pay gaps, landing at No. 5. Frisco men make nearly $40,000 more than women, while McKinney men make $29,000 more than women.

Just outside the top 10 is Plano at No. 12, with their gender pay gap adding up to $20,736.

The news is better inside Dallas city limits. Dallas has one of the smallest gender pay gaps nationwide, according to the report. The gender pay gap in Dallas is just $192 between full-time working men and women. In Oceanside, California (No. 167), that gap is even smaller, at $26. In the three top cities with the smallest gender pay gaps, women make between $969-$2,155 more than their male counterparts.

The top 5 U.S. cities with the smallest gender pay gaps are:

  • No. 170 – Hollywood, Florida
  • No. 169 – Oakland, California
  • No. 168 – Springfield, Massachusetts
  • No. 167 – Oceanside, California
  • No. 166 – Dallas

Other Texas cities that (disappointingly) have wider pay gaps include:

  • No. 2 – Frisco
  • No. 5 – McKinney
  • No. 12 – Plano
  • No. 13 – Austin
  • No. 25 – Pasadena
  • No. 30 – Lubbock
  • No. 45 – Fort Worth
  • No. 70 – Irving
  • No. 71 – Corpus Christi
  • No. 74 – San Antonio
  • No. 89 – Arlington
  • No. 93 – Grand Prairie
  • No 97 – El Paso
  • No. 101 – Laredo
  • No. 110 – Amarillo
  • No. 114 – Houston
  • No. 125 – Brownsville
  • No. 134 – Garland

In a different analysis of folks with a Bachelor’s degree, Frisco has the No. 1 largest gender pay gap between men and women. With a shocking $66,386 difference, men make more than double what women make in the Dallas suburb. The Texas city with the smallest gender pay gap for men and women who have Bachelor’s degrees is Grand Prairie (No. 164). Grand Prairie men make $1,741 more than their female counterparts do.

The full study can be found on chamberofcommerce.org.

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City of Dallas creates solar program to help residents get best deals

Solar News

The City of Dallas has partnered with a solar nonprofit to help residents go solar.

They've partnered with Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit dedicated to solar education, advocacy, and consumer protection that arranges "co-ops" so that homeowners can buy rooftop solar panels and get a "group rate."

America Garcia, Texas Program Director for Solar United Neighbors says that "by going solar with a group, participants feel confident in their decision and save money through the power of group buying.”

The city recently founded Solar Switch Dallas, a resource that works with local governments and nonprofits to facilitate group buying programs, helping homeowners and small businesses navigate the process of installing rooftop solar.

Dallas joins other cities such Corinth, Fate, and Farmers Branch, who also have partnerships with Texas Solar Switch.

Solar saves money on energy bills. How much it saves depends on factors such as how much sun your roof gets, your electricity usage, and your electricity rates. Real estate site Zillow says that a solar system can add more than 4 percent to the value of your home.

Solar also preps residents for climate change and helps the city fulfill its climate goals, says Carlos Evans, Director of Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, in a statement.

Going solar has become more accessible due to the dropping price of solar panels and new federal clean energy incentives. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), participants can use the solar tax credit for residential solar and save 30 percent on their total system cost. A similar tax credit is also available to small businesses.

Solar Switch runs a periodic "reverse auction" in which multiple installers compete to get a job; auctions are expected to result in offers that are 12-20 percent lower than what would be charged otherwise. Residents can visit SolarSwitch.com/Dallas to register.

These are the 14 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

Another big weekend across Dallas will feature a wide variety of events. Music lovers will appreciate a piano competition, a three-day festival-style event, and two big concerts. Theater lovers will get three new local productions. Dance lovers have three events from which to choose, including the national tour of an iconic show. Throw in an Oscar winner, a fan event with big celebrities, and a unique visual experience, and this weekend has something for everybody.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, June 8

Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition
Through four rounds of competition, including a final round with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, elite young artists will showcase their virtuosity and touch hearts with their musicality during the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition. There will be two rounds of concerts over four days at Caruth Auditorium on the SMU campus this weekend, followed by the semifinal and final rounds next week. There will also be a free public concert at NorthPark Center on Sunday.

Events with Oscar winner Roger Deakins
One of the most acclaimed cinematographers of all time, Roger Deakins will be in town this weekend for a series of events. On Thursday will be a Byways Book Signing with Roger & James Deakins, at which Deakins and his longtime collaborator and wife, James, will talk about their new book and career, followed by a screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Other Deakins films to be screened include Sicario on Friday, No Country for Old Men on Saturday, and Blade Runner 2049 on Sunday, the latter of which will include Q&A with Roger and James Deakins. All events will be at Texas Theatre.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Hubblo Immersive Cinema Dome Experiences
The Hubblo Immersive Cinema Dome uses cutting-edge 360° film technology to create a fully immersive experience. Audiences recline comfortably as 4k films surround them during an hour-long journey of light and sound. There are three different experiences to enjoy, including the Family 360° Film Experience, Music Lovers 360° Film Experience, and Explorer’s 360° Film Experience. The event will take place daily through July 9 at Wyly Theatre.

Broadway Dallas presents Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show
Riverdance's 25th anniversary show is a powerful and stirring reinvention of the beloved favorite, celebrated the world over for its Grammy award‐winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance. The ground-breaking show has been completely reimagined with innovative lighting, projection, stage, and costume designs. After playing on Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be one final show on Thursday at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Rover Dramawerks presents Lobby Hero
Jeff is a young security guard trying to get his life together after being thrown out of the navy. But he is drawn into a local murder investigation involving his supervisor, a tightly wound young man called upon to bear witness against his troubled brother, and an overzealous rookie cop who finds she must stand up to her unscrupulous, seasoned partner. Truth becomes elusive and justice proves costly. The production runs through June 24 at Cox Playhouse in Plano.

Kitchen Dog Theater presents 25th Annual New Works Festival
The 25th annual New Works Festival from Kitchen Dog Theater will be headlined by the mainstage production, The Last Truck Stop. The world premiere production centers on a tenacious trucker-turned-truck-stop-owner and her poetic, gun-toting postal carrier, who debate staying or going when their desert town becomes a no-go zone. The production runs through June 25 at Trinity River Arts Center The festival also includes PUP Fest on June 10 at Booker T. Washington High School, and a Staged Reading Series at Trinity River Arts Center (June 17 and 24).

Shakespeare Dallas presents Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing
For some in Much Ado About Nothing, love begins at first sight. For others, love has been forsworn. The war is over. Pedro Prince of Aragon, with his followers Benedick and Claudio, visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice. Claudio who fights for his love for Hero, and Benedick, who has forsworn women until his friends make him believe that he has caught the eye of Lady Beatrice. Much Ado About Nothing will play in repertory with Two Gentlemen of Verona (opening June 14) through July 16 at Samuell-Grand Amphitheater.

Friday, June 9

Fan Expo Dallas
Fan Expo Dallas is the largest sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event in Texas, featuring family-friendly attractions, events, and celebrities. Celebrity guests will includehttps://dallas.culturemap.com/news/entertainment/fan-expo-lampoons-stranger-things/ Zachary Levi from Shazam!; Hayden Christensen from Star Wars; Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Christie Brinkley, and Randy Quaid from National Lampoon's Vacation; Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix; Rosario Dawson from Ahsoka; Jon Bernthal from The Punisher; Christina Ricci from Wednesday and Yellowjackets; Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and other actors from Clerks; and more. The event goes through Sunday at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

AEG presents Re:SET
Re:SET, a fresh take on the multi-artist outdoor concert, is coming to the grounds of Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie, featuring headliners boygenius, Steve Lacy and LCD Soundsystem. The concert series creates a unique, localized experience for fans, with each headliner curating the lineup for their respective day. On Thursday, boygenius will be bringing along indie standouts Clairo, Dijon, and Bartees Strange. On Friday, Steve Lacy will feature James Blake, Toro y Moi, and Fousheé. Travelling with LCD Soundsystem on Sunday are Jamie xx, IDLES, Big Freedia, and more.

TITAS / Dance Unbound presents Ballet BC
Bold, innovative, and uniquely great, Ballet British Columbia is an internationally acclaimed Canadian contemporary dance company. The program includes Crystal Pite’s The Statement, as well as Garden by Medhi Walerski and Bedroom Folk by Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar. The performance takes place at Winspear Opera House.

Saturday, June 10

Duran Duran in concert
English new wave band Duran Duran - which was named after a character from the movie Barbarella, of all things - has endured for over 40 years, much longer than most '80s bands. Though their biggest hits - "Hungry Like the Wolf," "A View to a Kill," "Ordinary World" - all come from the '80s and '90s, they have continued to evolve their sound so that they remain relevant amid much younger bands. They'll play at American Airlines Center in support of their 2021 album, Future Past, joined by Bastille and Nile Rodgers & Chic.

Parker McCollum in concert
Country singer and Texas native Parker McCollum has been a fixture on the local festival scene since releasing his debut album in 2015, but in 2021 he skipped over all the smaller venues in the area and went straight to Dos Equis Pavilion. Now playing there for his third year in a row. McCollum is touring in support of his just-released fourth album, Never Enough.

Bruce Wood Dance presents Grace
Bruce Wood Dance will close its 22-23 season with Grace, featuring the world premiere of Ghost by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Ben Needham-Wood. Artistic director Joy Bollinger premieres And Heaven and Nature, a look at the seemingly divine design of planet Earth. The reprise of Bruce Wood’s jazzy blockbuster, Rhapsody in Blue, closes the innovative mixed bill. There will be performances on both Saturday and Sunday at Moody Performance Hall.

Duran Duran
Photo by Stephanie Pistel

Duran Duran will play at American Airlines Center on June 10.

3 Dallas restaurants appoint new chefs, while another chef gets on TV

Chef news

It's a big week for big chef news in the Dallas restaurant world.

Three high-profile restaurants have made major new chef appointments. There's also a celebrity Dallas chef who will appear on TV this week.

Here's all the Dallas chef news you need to know:

Adolphus Hotel
Chef Rolf J. Weithofer has been appointed Executive Chef of culinary operations at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, where he'll oversee restaurant, bar, and catering including Rodeo Bar, City Hall Bistro, Otto’s, in-room dining, and banquets. (The hotel's acclaimed French Room has still not fully reopened post-pandemic, although it is open for tea Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am-3 pm.)

Weithofer has 22-plus years of experience, most recently as Executive Chef at Stone Harbor Golf Club in New Jersey, where he led two restaurants and banquets. Prior to that, he worked at restaurants and hotels in New York, Maui, Germany, Japan, Los Angeles, Venezuela, Miami, and Puerto Rico, including Maxim’s de Paris in New York. Weithofer has also racked up awards including a Gold Medal in the Culinary Olympics.

Ocean Prime Dallas
Charlie Tkacik has been appointed Executive Chef at Ocean Prime Dallas, the upscale seafood and steakhouse from Cameron Mitchell Restaurant (CMR) which opened in Uptown in 2009.

Tkacik was born in Rhode Island and the Northeast is his major influence, particularly in preparation of seafood such as the restaurant's Texas redfish. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, he interned at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, and has more than a decade of experience at upscale restaurants across New England, including a four-year stint at the iconic Boston Grill 23 & Bar. He joined Cameron Mitchell Restaurant several years ago and was most recently Executive Sous Chef at Ocean Prime Boston.

Mexican Test Kitchen
Matt McCallister is executive chef at Mexican Test Kitchen, a new pop-up restaurant at the West Village in Dallas from Local Favorite Restaurants, the group from restaurateur Mike Karns that also encompasses El Fenix, Snuffer's, Meso Maya, Taqueria La Ventana, Tulum, Village Burger Bar, Jalisco Norte, and Twisted Root. Mexican Test Kitchen took over the former Honest Taco space and is an interim concept to be replaced by a new restaurant in the fall. McCallister is now working with Local Favorite Restaurants full time.

A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, McCallister began his Dallas career at Stephan Pyles, where he served as executive chef and had his own tasting room. In 2012, he opened FT33 in the Dallas Design District, which earned accolades locally and nationally in magazines such as Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. In 2019, he opened Homewood on Oak Lawn Avenue which had its own on-site garden. The restaurant made Texas Monthly's Best New Restaurant list in 2020, and Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2020 Tastemaker Awards.

Fox TV MasterChef
Tiffany Derry joins Fox TV series MasterChef as a guest judge, appearing on an episode on Wednesday, June 14, airing at 8 pm.

Derry, who owns Roots Southern Table, appears on United Tastes of America in an episode called "Regional Auditions - The South." Contestants have 45 minutes to prepare a dish that will secure them one of five remaining spots in the top 20. The show is hosted by Gordon Ramsay, with judges Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich. Derry will be the week's Guest Judge.