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IRAQI WAR HAS NEGATIVE IMPACT ON LIFE IN THE USA
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Sat, Mar 18, 2006, 12:33 PM

A new Gallup poll found that 58% of Americans believe that the war in Iraq has had a negative effect on life in the US.  That is a reversal  from the results immediately after the war began in which 52% of Americans said that the war had a positive effect on life in the United States, according to a story in Editor & Publisher.  The story goes on to say that, when asked in the Gallup poll "how the war in Iraq has affected their personal lives, Americans are nearly three times more likely to say it has had a negative (39%) rather than a positive (14%) effect."

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RETAIL GASOLINE PRICES UP AGAIN
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Sat, Mar 18, 2006, 12:29 PM

The AAA gas price survey shows that Texas gasoline prices at the pump rose for the second time in two weeks.  The average jumped 7 cents from the previous week to an average price of $2.34 per gallon.  It looks like the AAA survey may be a week behind because it is hard to find regular gasoline at less than $2.49 a gallon in the Dallas area.

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OUSTED ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF SAYS HE DIDN'T GET FAIR HEARING FROM CITY MANAGER
by Trey Garrison    Sat, Mar 18, 2006, 01:34 AM

We first reported on Wednesday that Assistant Fire-Rescue Chief Roland Gamez was fired for sexual harassment for an incident that allegedly happened in January.

Tonight, WFAA News 8 scooped us (we're big enough to admit that) in getting Mr. Gamez's side of the story. In an exclusive interview, he told Channel 8 that the allegations for sexual harassment against him stemmed from two disgruntled employees that he says were unhappy with merit raises they received in December 2005.

Gamez went on to tell the TV news crew that he believes he did not get a fair hearing from City Manager Mary Suhm - described by some city staffers as running her department through "fear and intimidation" - because he was loyal to former Dallas Fire Chief Steve Abraira, who was suddenly ousted last year by Ms. Suhm over conflicts between the two.

Of the two accusers, Eddie Goldsmith and Johnnie Ortiz, Goldsmith resigned from his position effective March 14, 2006. Ortiz was cleared of any wrong doing and she has returned to work at the city's 911 center.

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THAT A GUN IN YOUR POCKET OR YOU JUST SHOOTING A TV PILOT?
by Trey Garrison    Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 08:25 PM

If in coming days you see a bunch of rural militia-type folks toting weapons around Dallas, you might figure it's just one my family reunions. But you'd be wrong this time - it's actually acclaimed TV and movie producer Mark Gordon filming the pilot for a new TV series pilot, "House Divided," which tells the story of a growing conflict between a militia in a small town and the federal gub'mint.

Cynthia Webb over at the Dallas Business Journal has the scoop on the production, which will be shooting for two weeks in and around North Texas. (If you need some hillbilly looking extras, Mr. Gordon, give me a call.)

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NEW LINKS UP IN TEXAS EDUCATION
by Brian Bodine    Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 03:19 PM
Click here for links
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REDISTRICTING ORAL ARGUMENT TRANSCRIPT ONLINE
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 02:10 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court has posted a transcript on its website of the oral arguments of the challenge to Texas congressional redistricting. A link to the PDF of the transcript is posted below. (Fair warning to our users with dial up connections, this is a significant download.)

Click to download transcript.

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SMU, U. OF DALLAS, AND BAYLOR LEFT FOR BUSH LIBRARY SITES
by Brian Bodine    Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 01:12 PM

Three schools are left as possible sites for hosting the George W. Bush Presidential Library. They include Southern Methodist University in Dallas, The University of Dallas, and Baylor University. The University of Texas at Austin was eliminated last fall and Texas Tech was eliminated on Thursday.

Click here to read DMN article 

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DISSENSION IN TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY
by Tom Pauken    Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 01:11 PM

226177-294720-thumbnail.jpg
Glen Maxey
As Democratic and Republican party activists prepare for their upcoming state conventions in June, dissent grows in both parties. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell finds himself under fire for taking sides in the looming battle for the state chairmanship of the Democratic Party. Bell has announced his support for Young County lawyer Boyd Ritchie who is locked in a hard fought battle for State Chairman against former state representative Glen Maxey of Austin. Maxey was the only openly homosexual member of the Texas legislature during his tenure in office and recently led the opposition to the Marriage Amendment to the Texas Constitution, which was approved overwhelmingly by Texas voters.

As reported first here on DallasBlog by our own Ken Molberg, the current Democratic State Chairman Charles Soechting decided to step down early as Party Chairman. Speculation is that Soechting resigned early so that Boyd Ritchie could be elected Party Chairman by the State Democratic Executive Committee prior to the June convention. That would give Ritchie a leg up in his race for Chairman at the state convention in June. Bell’s endorsement of Ritchie is another boost to his candidacy.

According to a story in today’s Dallas Morning News by Robert Garrett, Maxey claims that the outgoing State Chairman and the Democratic nominee for Governor are opposing his candidacy because they don’t want an openly homosexual man like himself to become the public face of the Texas Democratic Party.

The SDEC has called a special meeting this weekend to elect Soechting’s replacement, and Ritchie is expected to get the nod. Chris Bill already was viewed as the decided underdog in the Governor’s race, running behind independent Carol Strayhorn in the polls. He sure doesn’t need this kind of Party rift only months away from the general election. But, he and his campaign advisors must have concluded that Glen Maxey’s election as State Party Chairman would have ended any small chance he had of being elected Governor of Texas in November. It will be interesting to see if a badly divided Texas Democratic Party can heal this latest rift, particularly when so many of the Democratic heavy hitters are financially backing Carol Strayhorn’s candidacy for Governor.

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ANOTHER LINK IN THE CHAIN
by Trey Garrison    Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 12:07 PM

There's just no way that this will end well.

I'm not going to state an editorial position, but I must pose a question: If we all agree that political speech more than any other variety is what the First Amendment is meant to protect, how is it even possible we're at a place where we're squabbling over how speech in this medium should be restricted, but not in that medium, and only if you're spending less than X amount of dollars, and so on? I really just don't get it. Kudos to Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, but how has it come to this?

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ROCKWALL, COLLIN COUNTIES LEAD TEXAS IN GROWTH
by Trey Garrison    Thu, Mar 16, 2006, 09:18 PM

Too early to say how, exactly, but this dials into the whole ongoing
argument over the proposed, controversial ForwardDallas! comprehensive plan.

Rockwall County led Texas in percentage population growth from 2004 to 2005, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The county just east of Dallas drew to 62,944 people from 2004 to 2005, or 7.7 percent. Collin County, located northwest of Dallas, grew 4.9 percent, making it the state's second-fastest growing county during the period.

Opponents of the proposed comprehesive plan will note Dallas isn't like Portland, the hometown of the plan's author, and faced with the hurdles to development ForwardDallas! would erect, Dallas residents and businesses can simply move a few miles north or east to greener pastures. Supporters would say the plan would make Dallas more attractive.

For those who missed it, Dallas City Councilmember Angela Hunt, District 14, recently reviewed the proposed ForwardDallas! plan here at DallasBlog.

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