By the way, Why Do Black Achievers Choose Dallas?


June 22, 2011


by Shawn

Have you seen D Magazine’s Why Black Achievers Choose Dallas Special Report?  The special issue published by Robbie Douglas and Edited by Sherri Daye Scott is visually stunning.  I had a chance to contribute to an article on Dallas’ Dynamic Faith and Dallas South News was mentioned as something to follow online.  I’ve had a number of folks come up to me, email or text about how much they enjoyed the issue.  Kudos to Wick, Robbie and Sherri.

Front page story in Dallas Morning News details the plight of DART rail passengers who were stuck in an underground tunnel and their decision to walk down the tracks to Mockingbird Station.  Glad for the apology from DART President Gary Thomas, but it is hard for me to understand how there was no evacuation plan in place for such an occurrence.  This passage really stuck out of Michael Lindenberger’s article:

(Thomas) said the agency’s protocols for handling a stalled train do not currently include plans for what to do if a large number of passengers abandon an underground train.

“We never anticipated that to happen,” Thomas said.


I thought the videography in the NBC 5 piece last Friday was great and had a couple of cool screen shots, but this was may favorite.

My Thoughts on Mayor Elect Mike Rawlings


June 22, 2011


by Shawn

I hadn’t met Mike Rawlings prior to the 2011 mayoral campaign.  The first time I was introduced to him was at a meeting set up by Willis Johnson at the Adolphus Tower (I didn’t even know there was an Adolphus Tower).  The meeting included myself, Gordon Jackson of The Dallas Weekly and Cheryl Smith of KKDA and The Dallas Weekly.

The discussion lasted for an hour and a half and I thought Rawlings was fairly knowledgeable on issues relating to Southern Dallas.  He was pretty open about people like himself who lived north having absolutely no idea what lies south of the Trinity.  He made a good first impression and I invited Rawlings over to Suite 609 for an interview.  He agreed.

Mr. Rawlings dropped by the newsroom about a week later and you can see some of the results of our discussion in the video above.  After the camera stopped rolling Rawlings stayed in the newsroom for an additional 15 minutes or so and talked about Southern Dallas as well asking questions about what is and what we want to be in the future.

It clicked right then why he was gaining huge support in the south.  I assume he’d had similar meetings with leaders in the south as Tom Leppert had 4 years prior.  But in 2007 having a sit down with Leppert was considered a positive and many people overlooked the fact that he wasn’t fully engaged in the conversation. I knew Leppert’s gaze seemed distant, but I had no idea he was peering 4 years into the future.

Then there was the Southern Dallas helicopter tour with Rawlings, Johnson Ross Perot Jr. and myself.  While we were in the air, I could tell Rawlings had become familiar with most of the key pieces in Southern Dallas but was able to connect the dots much better with the perspective provided by the tour.  He verbalized the need to get move “heavy dirty industry” i.e. junk and scrapyards out of South Dallas an away from people.  More good.  After moderating two candidate forums for the Dallas Bar Association, it was obvious that Mike Rawlings would sell Dallas to businesses, sell Dallas to visitors and sell Dallas to Dallas.  All good.

Moving forward, I want to see if the Rawlings of the campaign is the Rawlings that presides as mayor of Dallas.  During the campaign, there were concerns (spoken to me) about how Rawlings presided over park board and the tone he sometimes took with colleagues.  I didn’t see that in the campaign or in the 5 or 6 interactions that I had with him.

It’s going to take some work and consensus building to get the 8 votes that will be needed to approve any contentious issue.  I think it’s safe to say Angela Hunt will continue to be a wild card voting wise, but I hope Rawlings will make better use of her keen insight than Leppert did.  It’s never easy to figure which side Mayor Caraway will fall on a vote and hopefully Rawlings and his predecessor can get past the whole “Pay Day Loan King” situation.  Add Scott Griggs and his diverse district….we’ll just have to see how it goes.  The incoming mayor will need to hit the ground running.

My hope is that the passion and enthusiasm I’ve seen over the last few months will continue over the next 4 years. And I think borrowing some of the ideas of his former opponents in the mayoral race would also be good for Dallas.

There are also a couple of tweaks to his innovative and necessary Southern Dallas “beachheads” plan that I would suggest.  Rawlings has targeted 6 areas in Southern Dallas that he wants to focus on: Bishop Arts & Jefferson Avenue, Pinnacle Park / Mountain Creek, Lancaster Kiest Transportation Corridor Paul Quinn / UNT Dallas Education Corridor, West Dallas & Far Southwest Dallas.

First I think he should change the terminology.  “Beachheads” again makes Southern Dallas sound like a war zone in the same way “Southern Sector” does.  Then I think there should be a place for Fair Park in the plan.  And Southeast Dallas probably needs a couple of “beachheads” too.  This all could probably be accomplished with eight target zones.

I think there are reasons to be optimistic about the Rawlings era.  I thought the same thing 4 years ago and now I have buyers remorse. We’ll see.

Can SMU be Dallas’ Team? And to the victor go the spoils


June 21, 2011


by Shawn

This morning at Dallas South News we posted information regarding funeral arrangements for Al Lipscomb as well as a statement from longtime friend Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. The public will be able to pay their respects to Libscomb at the Hall of State in Fair Park on Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 PM.

Also this morning, I ran across an interesting tweet from @ESPNDallas:

SMU athletic director Steve Orsini peeks at TCU’s blueprint, envisions Mustangs as Dallas’ team –

I know this is something SMU has desired for a while, but it seems like there are a couple of problems with this.  First, I don’t think of SMU as being in Dallas, I think of it as being in University Park.  However when you look at the contact us page on the SMU website, thier location is listed as Dallas.

Secondly, in Ft. Worth, TCU is their highest profile sports team.  The same is true with the UT in Austin, most of the schools in the SEC.  In Dallas, SMU will always have to compete with pro sports which isn’t generally the case with most college programs.  The University of Miami was able to become big time in Miami, but what did it take for them to get there?

Last Friday Mayor Caraway and his security detail enjoyed some of the spoils of his wager with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Chairman Joe A. Martinez.  Martinez shipped stone crabs, Cuban pastries, and handmade cigars to the mayor last week.  I haven’t heard anything about the cigar party yet, but I did get a couple pics from the city of Caraway and his security detail chowing down.  They also sent over the pic of the mayor speaking with Jamie Foxx before the parade last week.

(Photos of Mayor Caraway Courtesy of the City of Dallas)

A Look Inside Suite 609 in NBC 5 Election Piece


June 20, 2011


by Shawn

View more videos at:

Ken Kalitoff of NBC 5 came over to the DSN newsroom last Friday to talk about the election.  He also brought new NBC 5 reporter Amanda Guerra with him as well.  As you’ll see the newsroom was a hive of activity with former intern and current member of The Crew Jovana Sanchez-Melendez working away.  I thought the videographer did a great job and had some really interesting shots.

Office Shuffle, Mavs, Mavs Parade and more Mavs

Community, Sports

June 15, 2011


by Shawn

Summer in Texas is upon us.  For the last year and a half my desk in Suite 609 has been up against the window.  The problem with that is my back is to the east and this is by far the hottest part of the loft.  My office mate Victoria Childress from Vik’s Pad has suggested I move onto the north wall.  I’ve got to do it before I pass out at my desk.  The sun starts beaming in around 7:45 up until about 9:30.  Anyway….back to the Mavs.

Yesterday I went to the Press Conference held by Mayor Caraway to talk about the Dallas Mavericks Championship parade.  Later in the day, the City of Dallas sent out a press release that detailed all that you need to know about the parade (so far).  The post also includes a map of the parade route.

Chief David Brown released a statement to Dallas South News regarding to the parade and also said at the press conference anyone at the parade will ill-intent will be dealt with.

Hat tip to Bob Sturm for turning his Twitter followers on to this Game 6 Mini Movie.  It’s worth the 7 minute commitment.

Jean-Jacques Taylor writes a well done Dallas Morning News column that explains what Tony Romo can learn from Dirk Nowitzki’s plight to a championship.

Finally, DSN posted info about the Dallas Bar Association’s 2011 Philbin Awards.  The Bar offers cash prizes for awards recognizing excellence in legal reporting.

Mavericks Boost Dallas South News to Best Ever Traffic Day


June 14, 2011


by Shawn

I’m sure that many local news organization had the same experience yesterday, but the traffic for Dallas South News smashed all previous records.  Traffic was three times what it is on an average day and double our highest traffic total to date.

Most of those visitors came from the early Dallas Mavericks Parade information that we posted, then there was a Jason Kidd post later in the day that also produced lots of visitors.

Looks like the Mavericks parade will be Thursday at 10 AM.  Details are still a little sketchy.

More Mavs Post from DSN:

Confession of a Mavs Fan Part II

Dallas Mayor Caraway on Mavericks Win

What we know about Mavericks Parade

It’s gonna be a busy Mavs intensive week and a coming out party for the Suite 609 website.  #gomavs

Interview with Larry Allums of Dallas Institute – Episode #5


January 12, 2011


by Shawn

Interview with Bruce Carter of W.A.G. – Episode #4


January 5, 2011


by Shawn

Everson Walls Interview At Jubilee Community Center – Episode #3


December 27, 2010


by Shawn

Miss Black Texas 2011 Interview – Episode #2


December 22, 2010

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by Shawn