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Lifestyles
VIEWPOINT: BUSH REMINDED ME OF SOMEONE LAST NIGHT By Scott Bennett
by Scott Bennett    Wed, Feb 1, 2006, 02:02 AM

bushflagglow2.jpgScott Bennett thinks George Bush has given some grand speeches in his tenure.  His 2002 State of the Union was one.  But last night was pedestrian not grand.  It wasn't at all bad but it was, well, gubernatorial in its small ball initiatives and general lack of passion.  In fact, this President was reminiscent of another President.

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DALLAS HONORS THE LATE CORETTA SCOTT KING
by Trey Garrison    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 09:30 PM

coretta scott king.jpgThe public is invited to attend candle-light vigils to honor the memory of  Mrs. Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., 7-7:30 p.m., every evening beginning Tuesday, January 31, 2006, including the day of funeral services.   

A wreath will be placed at the base of the statue of  Dr. King located between the Core Building - A and the MLK Branch Library – Building C. Remarks will be made by local ministers and citizens. 

For additional information about the candle-light vigils, call (214) 670-8418.

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VIEWPOINT: ABRAMOFF - IT’S ABOUT THE GAMBLING, STUPID by William Lutz
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 06:26 PM

roulette.jpgOur Austin correspondent says that the Abramoff scandal is mainly a "gambling scandal" and that Texans should avoid turning to more gambling to solve the state’s school finance problem.

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SURPRISE ENDORSEMENT IN D.A.'S RACE By Caroline Barta
by Carolyn Barta    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 06:25 PM

Today’s endorsement by the ayem paper of Vic Cunningham for the Republican nomination for district attorney came as a surprise. First, it seems early. I know -- the election is March 7, a scant five weeks away. However, the campaign really has yet to develop. Some more reporting on the race from the DMN news staff would be nice.

The editorial page picked Cunningham over Toby Shook because Cunningham, a judge, is an “outsider,” whereas Shook has been top deputy to D.A. Bill Hill. The idea is that the D.A.’s office needs a clean break with the past. The News does say it was a “close choice,” throwing a bone to Shook as a “highly respected career prosecutor.” Cunningham, meanwhile, was a felony prosecutor before he went on the bench 10 years ago.

I, for one, thought Shook might be the favored candidate in this race -- on the strength of his experience as top deputy in the D.A.'s office and for some high profile prosecutions -- not to mention he's winning the yard sign war in the Park Cities and North Dallas. 

There’s more shootout to come – not just between the candidates but the battle between the city’s most prominent political consultants. Rob Allyn represents Cunningham and Shook’s campaign is being managed by Carol Reed, who calls him her candidate right out of “central casting.”  Expect dueling direct mail pieces. 

In contrast, the DMN did use experience as a prosecutor as its reason for endorsing  Larry Jarrett for the Democratic nomination over Craig Watkins, who came within 10,000 votes of defeating District Attorney Bill Hill two years ago. Jarrett is a former Marine and a former prosecutor in both the D.A.’s office and the U.S. attorney’s office. Meanwhile, Watkins and the third candidate in the race, B.D. Howard, are defense attorneys with no experience in putting criminals in jail. The endorsement could help Jarrett among Democratic voters who don’t know any of them.

Now that we've seen where the ed board is coming down, let's hope we see some news coverage of candidate forums, joint appearances and some in-depth profiles in this important race for D.A.  What would really be interesting is what folks at the courthouse think about the two Republicans, since both are coming out of that environment.

 

 

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U. S. SAVINGS RATE LOWEST SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 05:48 PM

The Department of Commerce reported yesterday that the savings rate for Americans in 2005 was minus .5 percent.  The  savings rate has been in negative territory for a full year only twice before--in 1932 and 1933 during the Great Depression.

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CDCDC PROPOSES HIGH-RISE FOR NO AND LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS
by Trey Garrison    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 03:33 PM

By Trey Garrison

Some relief for the more than 9,100 homeless of Dallas County could be coming in an innovative new development downtown, but it is more than two years off. And acquiring the building may cost about three times the value at which the building is currently appraised.

The Central Dallas Community Development Corporation is proposing a $16.8 million project to turn the vacant 15-story tower at 511 N. Akard into a mixed-income single-room occupancy and retail center for low and no-income residents.

The project, dubbed City Walk at Akard, would provide about 200 single-room occupancy, long-term residences, with monthly rents ranging from $384 to $1,050. (A few of the larger units would be rented at market prices to help generate revenue.) The bottom two floors would be set aside for offices and limited retail, including Central Dallas Ministries' administrative office, a public interest law firm, Central Dallas CDC offices, job training offices for tenants and other like uses.

The project cost breakdown is about $6.3 million for the property acquisition, with the balance going to the rehabilitation and renovation of the property. The vacant building at 511 N. Akard is currently owned by a private, limited partnership based in Ontario.

Despite the quoted acquisition price in the CDCDC's proposal, according to the most recent Dallas Central Appraisal District evaluation of the property at 511 N. Akard, the property is appraised at only $2 million.

Proposed funding for the redevelopment will come from low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, and about $2 million from the City of Dallas. The first step for CDCDC is securing the tax credits.

Councilman Leo Chaney, chairman of the Quality of Life Committee, said while details need to be worked out before his committee can vote on whether to recommend the project to the full city council, he is excited about the project.

"This isn't about 'affordable housing' it's about 'obtainable housing' - something in short supply especially in downtown and uptown Dallas. It's a major step in the right direction for serving this community," Chaney said.

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THEY WANTED FRIES WITH HER SHAKE?
by Trey Garrison    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 03:19 PM

In a nod to Caligula, we bring you this from down in Bryan, Texas.

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WINE, WINE, WINE
by Trey Garrison    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 02:47 PM

To visit a 1,000-year-old Croatian-style winery carved from bedrock and overlooking a 50-acre lake, you'd have to travel to, well, Croatia.

Or, if you wait two years, you can get a pretty close approximation a few miles north of Dallas in McKinney, Texas. According to GlobeStreet.com, John Wales, owner of the Wales Manor label, will operate the soon-to-come commercial winery and vineyard in Adriatica, a 45-acre, Euro-style residential and retail village in McKinney's Stonebridge Ranch development.

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VIEWPOINT: SIMON SAYS by Tara Ross
by DallasBlog.com    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 02:27 PM
226177-260348-thumbnail.jpg
Simon Cowell
American Idol
fans love to hate Simon Cowell, but I, for one, love his style. Crazy as it may sound, some parents and teachers could learn a thing or two from him.

 

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GUEST VIEWPOINT: REPUBLICAN PARTY MUST AGAIN BECOME THE PARTY OF REFORM by Marc Rotterman
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 01:39 PM

National Treasurer of the American Conservative Union calls for shake-up of the Republican Party in the wake of Tom Delay’s resignation as House Majority Leader.

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