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by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 8, 2006, 04:40 PM

In reference to his $800,000 statue park plan that includes a proposed bust of himself, I button-holed Councilman Leo Chaney at City Hall today.

Bottom line: He says if the proposed statue of himself holds up the process at all, he wants his name removed from the list of the 75 or so South Dallas leaders in "Opportunity Park."

Following is his statement on the matter with nothing redacted, edited or taken out of context.

"I had an idea of creating a park that depicted the history of South Dallas/Fair Park. I made a suggestion to my park board member that he organize a commitee, which he did, of folks who live and breathe and work in South Dallas/Fair Park. Thgere was a nomination process that went out through the entire city. Different tier one, tier two, tier three people were nominated by the citizens of Dallas. And there was criteria established. I'm not saying it was a complete certified list. They had representatives from Black Dallas Remembered, the Washington/Lincoln Alumni Association, educators who'd been in that community for 40 years and they came up with a list of folks. If they thought enough of me, and I've not gotten any official recognition notice. I haven't seen the final concept the guy has planned for the park other than the fact that it's going to be very unique. I don't want the fact that the community thought enough of me as a councilperson as a person who conceived the whole South Dallas Walk of Fame, I don't want that to overshadow what we're attempting to do. It's a park with homemakers, barbers, people who do - I mean I didn't select this, I weas selected. I had nothing to do with it. So I don't want people thinking I'm trying to erect a statue to myself because certainly I'm not. I've told the folks I don't have to be on this."

"My vision is that this is a historic site. In South Dallas/Fair Park since I've been on the council I changed the district, the PD, put in a PD, we made Juanita Craft's house a historic designation. My whole vision is history. South Dallas Cultural Center, the African American Museum of Cultural Arts, I developed the Project Re-Entry Program for the City of Dallas has, the living wage position that the City of Dallas has, that was me. The municipal art, I mean, so folks, and before that I was on the Plan Commission. So the people said 'Hey, we love you.' So I don't want to, I said nix me. I haven't even seen the concept or the plan."

"As long as I'm sitting on the council, no. I'm honored they would think of me. But if they would think of me, but if that's a deal breaker, take me off. That's the real deal. It wasn't about me. It's about those people in history."

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by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 8, 2006, 04:36 PM

The future for an aging, low-income apartment complex that Trammell Crow Co. owns and wants to tear down in favor of retail development may be decided at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Residents of the aging Timber Creek apartments at Northwest Highway and Skillman Street want the city to say no to Trammell Crow’s petition to rezone the property. Trammell Crow wants the property rezoned “regional retail.”

The developer has been a little cagey with exactly what they want to develop on the property, but it is their property. I smell the plot of "Breakin' 3: Electric Boogaloo Returns."

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by Tom Pauken    Mon, May 8, 2006, 04:36 PM

Texas Republican pollster Lance Tarrance was quoted in a story in the Washington Post over the weekend as saying that "this administration may be over.  By and large, if you want to be tough about it, the relevancy of this administration on policy may be over."  Tarrance was the leading Republilcan pollster in the country in the late 1960s through the 1970s and has been an active Republican ever since he worked in the research division of the Texas Republican Party in the 1960s.  He later was President of the Gallup organization.  According to the Post, a new poll by Tarrance's  current polling organization (RT Strategies) "shows that 59 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance" while only 36 percent approve. 

The Washington Post article reported that "Tarrance said it would be extremely difficult for any president to bounce back this late in his administration and reassert influence on Capitol Hill when his approval rating barely exceeds his party's base of support and half of all adults surveyed said they 'strongly disapprove' of his performance."  Tarrance cited the increased opposition to the war in Iraq as a major factor in accounting for the President's loss of support:  "We will have a referendum on Iraq for the first time in '06, and the '08 election may be similar.  The two elections are going to be relatively bundled together because of Iraq."

The Tarrance poll comes on the heels of an AP poll Friday which showed that over 30 percent of self-identified conservatives hope that the GOP will lose control of Congress this fall.

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by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 8, 2006, 04:33 PM

Well sorta. And only for juveniles, who don't really count as people. An item on the consent agenda for Wednesday’s city council meeting may amend chapter 31 of the city code to “regulate the possession of graffiti implements commonly used to deface and destroy public and private property.”

This appears to be an adjunct to the city’s crusade to clean up graffiti on public and private buildings, a charge being led by Councilmember Angela Hunt.

Seems a little ominous and a little lazy. After all, spray cans don’t deface buildings – people do. Granted, a 16-year-old with a bag full of spray cans is probably up to no good. But then a 16-year-old walking down the street with a baseball bat may be on his way to a game, or may be on his way to go brain someone. Arresting people for what they might do? Don't seem right.

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by Brian Bodine    Mon, May 8, 2006, 02:58 PM

Different views are being expressed on President Bush’s pick for CIA Director. reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich) said that Gen. Michael Hayden is the wrong person for the job since putting Hayden in charge of the CIA would mean that military officials would be in control of all the major spy agencies. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had similar comments and has said that the CIA is meant to be a civilian agency. Other influential lawmakers, however, have said Hayden is very qualified, citing his broad intelligence experience. Hayden is also backed by Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.

Click here for story 

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by Brian Bodine    Mon, May 8, 2006, 02:32 PM

In Idaho, some people are using the old fashion way of getting around – by horses. Idaho’s KIFI TV reports that locals in Rexburg, Idaho would rather burn hay than fuel. To make their point that gas prices are too high, the locals plan on saddling up on horseback at least once a month.

Click here for story 

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by Mike Fisher    Sun, May 7, 2006, 10:44 PM

The Mavs allow us to gather another crummy memory at the Alamo. Punxsutawney Bill allows us 51 good minutes. And the Rangers allow us a lesson in Spanglish. ... All part of Fish's Weekend Wrapup:

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by Brian Bodine    Sun, May 7, 2006, 06:59 PM

Braving stormy conditions, about 500 protestors showed up near President Bush’s ranch in Crawford on Saturday. The event was called “A Rumble at the Ranch” and consisted of speakers arguing against President Bush’s immigration policies and calling for the sealing of the border. Many of the participants were even two-time Bush voters who were attending the rally to vent their frustration with the administration’s guest worker policy.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the event was organized by the Texas Minutemen and Latino Americans for Immigration Reform.

Click here to read story

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by Trey Garrison    Sun, May 7, 2006, 04:12 PM

Exxon-Mobil poobah Rex Tillerson has a Captain Obvious message on how to deal with high oil and gas prices: Use less.

The solution to higher gasoline prices is, of course, to either consume less, produce more, or a combination of the two — not the easy answers politicians now seek, and they're too timid to say what Tillerson has the stones to.

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by Trey Garrison    Sun, May 7, 2006, 12:48 PM

A little late to the game, but the daily has finally taken on the proposed forwardDallas! comprehensive plan, and to their credit they address it from a number of angles.

Architecture critic David Dillon's take on the plan, like most of his columns, is wholly forgettable, but Angela Shah cuts to the heart of the matter with a solid argument on why Dallas has to rethink how it deals with business if it's going to move ahead. Victoria Loe Hicks makes an earnest but ultimately vain attempt to drink the mass transit Kool-Aid, but no one can seriously think Dallas is going to become significantly less auto oriented even in 50 years, much less 25. People love their cars.

A few more Mockingbird Stations would be nice, but it's not going to fundamentally alter auto use on a grand scale, and pushing for multifamily alternatives that aren't supported by market demand isn't a solution. To the extent the plan evens the playing field for developers and removes restrictive zoning, there's some good stuff in there - but too often the plan pushes for development the market doesn't support, and command economics just doesn't work no matter how noble the vision.

Overall, worth reading for the most part. Bottom line though, this is too big and important a deal to rush through on the current timetable, and there are some fundamental problems that have to be addressed before it can be seriously considered. And as Jim Schutze points out in the Dallas Observer it doesn't really make much difference what any plan or zoning says as the council is going to do what it wants to serve its special interests.

Councilmember Angela Hunt still has the best take on the problems with the proposed plan, and continues to write about it on her personal blog.

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