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DALLAS' THIN BLUE LINE A LITTLE THICKER TODAY
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 5, 2006, 11:52 AM

Twenty-seven new police officers - apprentice officers - join the ranks of Dallas' Finest today at a graduation ceremony for Police Academy Class 289 scheduled for 2 p.m. today. It will be held at the Hoblitzelle Auditorium of the Bill J. Priest Institute.

Top honors go to Officer Justin Boyce, who scored the highest overall academy average of 93.15 and was second in academics with a 92.33. Officer Rachel Moore scored the highest in academics with a 93.00 and was second overall with a 92.65. Officer Daniel Fogle was third in both academics and overall with 92.13 and 91.37 respectively.

The female recruits lead the competition in the area of motor fitness. Officer Patricia Mora scored the highest in motor fitness performance with a 97.20. Officer Barbara Ausborne was second with a 94.60. Officer Perry Strickland was third with a 94.40.

Officer William McLennan out shot the other recruits and earned the highest score in Firearms Proficiency with a perfect average of 100.00. Officer Justin Boyce was second with a strong 99.90. Officer Justin Brandt came in third with the outstanding score of 99.80.

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NO SHORTAGE OF SNAKE OIL, ANYWAY
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 5, 2006, 11:08 AM

Say, here's an idea. Instead of berating a retiring CEO over money he earned and that his shareholders obviously agree with, pandering proposals to suspend gas taxes, and passing feel-good legislation to stop the "price gouging" boogeyman, why not do something useful?

Like opening ANWAR and the coasts to drilling? Easing ridiculous environmental regulations so that it's easier to build more refineries, since we haven't had a new one in 30 years? Or maybe building more nuclear plants so our grids wouldn't be reliant on natural gas?

Oh wait - election year. Best to go after the companies whose total profits account for 9 cents of the price of a gallon of gas.

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SPEAKING OF CELEBRATIONS...
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 5, 2006, 10:54 AM

My good buddy Tim Rogers over at D Magazine is officially closer to 40 today than 30. Happy Birthday, you gruff old coot.

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WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JOE MAY?
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 5, 2006, 10:36 AM

Is it really a surprise the Dallas Independent School District is in the shape it's in given the current field of trustees and would-be trustees?

Matt Pulle over at the Dallas Observer has a hilarious summary of the Men and Women Who Would Be, which as we now know includes an alleged bathroom paramour, a convicted domestic abuser and an expensive lingerie fetishist. Joy.

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DEBATE COLORS CINCO DE MAYO
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 5, 2006, 10:19 AM

The Houston Chronicle does a good job of covering how the illegal immigration debate is bleeding over into today's Cinco de Mayo celebrations, which is a real shame because no matter where people's opinions fall, there's never a bad day to celebrate with beer, tequila, chips and salsa. And it's not like Cinco de Mayo isn't part of the Texas heritage, with a number of Texans having fought in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

"I think at any other time Texans may be more than happy to raise a Mexican flag or to drink a beer under the Mexican flag," said Tijerina, a historian who has written books about Tejanos including, Tejanos and Texas Under the Mexican Flag, 1821-1836. "That flag has recently been raising eyebrows."

Maybe everyone should just lighten up for a day.

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AND WHILE THE SURFER WAS IN THE RESTROOM...
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 5, 2006, 10:11 AM

In a scene right out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a convenience store clerk in Lake Highlands uses a pot of scalding water on a would-be robber. Awesome. Totally Awesome.

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NORTH PARK EXPANSION OPENS TODAY
by Scott Bennett    Fri, May 5, 2006, 07:23 AM

A few years back the Dallas Observer in an article on a space cult allowed as how most folks in Dallas thought North Park was the mother ship.  If so, today the mother ship becomes one mother of a ship.  Today the north Dallas structure created by Ray Nasher becomes the largest mall in Texas and among the five largest in the US.  True to the Nasher tradition of arts and architecture the expanded North Park will have as its center piece a one and a half acre park and a magnificent 15-screen move theatre.  Oh yes, it will also have over 1 million square feet of new stores for a total of nearly 2.5 million.  And you are expected to drop about a billion a year there.  Earth to shopper. 

North Park Center

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TEXAS COULD GET $1.5 BILLION IN EMERGENCY RELIEF
by Brian Bodine    Thu, May 4, 2006, 11:27 PM

The emergency funding bill for the Iraq war and hurricane relief includes $1.5 billion in relief for Texas. Measures supported by Senator Hutchinson include:

(from the article)

“-$650 million to help cover costs for students who will enroll in Texas schools in the fall.

-$30 million that colleges and universities can apply for to cover costs associated with hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

-$10 million for law enforcement funds for fire and emergency services and other law enforcement expenses incurred with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

-$611 million in wildfire recovery assistance.”

Sen. Hutchinson and Sen. Cornyn are also pushing FEMA to increase the federal rate of reimbursement for damage claims to 90 percent from the current 75 percent. Cornyn is also trying to get $182 million in Community Development Block Grants for Texas.

Click here for story 

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TEXAS-OU DEAL A WIN FOR MILLER
by Trey Garrison    Thu, May 4, 2006, 09:23 PM

As David McNabb here first reported, Texas and OU have signed to play in Dallas until 2010.

The one breathing the biggest sigh of relief is Mayor Laura Miller, whose field of 2007 mayoral opponents have at least one less arrow in the quivers. cough Arlington Cowboys cough

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Q&A WITH CAROL ARNOLD, CANDIDATE FOR SCHOOL BOARD
by Brian Bodine    Thu, May 4, 2006, 04:32 PM

Carol Arnold, a teacher at the Townview Academic Center, is running for the District 6 seat on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees. Here are her responses to some questions asked by the DallasBlog.

DallasBlog: Why are you running for the school board?

Carol Arnold: I have made a decision to run as a school board candidate for the Dallas Independent School District.  My passion is and will always be to serve my community and give back what has been given to me. I have also decided to run because of the need for “educational leadership” for District 6. My expertise, experience, and knowledge of the DISD educational system will be an asset. I have 28 years of public school education and 22 years in the DISD. There is a need for someone who understands public school policies, procedures, programs, and the environment. 

I am in touch and have been in touch with the needs of the parents, students, staff and administration. My service through the PTA, community service groups and civic organizations also gives me additional insight into the needs of this district.

DallasBlog: What steps do you propose DISD take to lower the dropout rate?

C.A.: The issue of reducing the dropout rate is a challenging one. I believe the district has programs in place such as the “Reconnect Centers” which are designed to give students the opportunity to return to the classroom to complete their education. 

DallasBlog: Do you support performance-based incentives for principals? If so, what do you believe principals should be evaluated on? 

C.A.: Not at this time. 

DallasBlog: Are there any changes to the district’s bilingual language programs that you would like to see? 

C.A.: I would like to look at the total program before making any suggestions.

DallasBlog: In 2005, DISD’s contract with FedEx Kinkos resulted in printing and copying costs doubling to $12.82 million. How do you propose to prevent and/or limit this kind of waste in the future? 

C.A.: In the future, I would simply encourage all board members to conduct careful (personal) research on all major projects before conducting a vote.

DallasBlog: What do you anticipate will be the most pressing issue(s) facing the district this year and how do you propose to deal with it/them?

C.A.: The most pressing issue is that of school finance. It is very important that the district have a budget that will still provide the needs of this district if the state funding falls short. It is also important that a sound fiscal plan be in place in the event that the court does not approve the funding formula provided by the legislature.

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