We are so used to dialing 3-1-1  to get service from the city, it may take some getting used to: Dallas 311 is launching new service request software, updating their website, and replacing the current Dallas 311 mobile app with the new OurDallas app.

The current 311 app will be taken down tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m., and online access for residents will be removed beginning Friday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. to begin the transition to the new system.

While the app and website are down, you can still dial 311 at any time to report an issue. And the call will be answered — the call center will be staffed with additional agents to handle calls during this time.

But beginning October 1, the new system will be online. Residents using the old 3-1-1 app will be directed to the new OurDallas app available from the App Store and Google Play, hopefully for free.

The updated system will make it easier for residents to request City services, sort of service at the touch of a finger. But I wonder what folks without i-phones will do, such as the elderly. Good question for our City Council, or dallas311@dallascityhall.com, but I am so glad to see Dallas bringing in more technology for smoother sailing!

Favela

(Photo courtesy City of Dallas)

Raquel Favela, Dallas’ Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, has given City Manager T.C. Broadnax her resignation, the city announced yesterday. Her resignation is effective Sept. 3.

Under her tenure, which began April 2017, Favela oversaw the city’s first data-driven Market Value Analysis framework, which helped city leaders, residents and others better suss out the local residential real estate market. That framework would also be valuable in crafting housing program policy. (more…)

high five

Ah, the Dallas High-Five —  an interchange between U.S.  Highway 75 and Interstate 635 that is a luge during an ice storm, a twisted maze of ramps stacked on top of each other any other time, has now become the place where a few hundred folks are now forcibly cooling their heels because of a tractor-trailer accident early this morning.

According to law enforcement, a gasoline tanker carrying diesel fuel overturned on the ramp from southbound 75 to eastbound LBJ Freeway. While none of the fuel has spilled so far, the task of emptying the tanker of its fuel before transporting it has taken the entire day, and officials now say that the interchange will be shut down through the evening — and yes, that includes rush hour.

Dallas police said the liquid contents in the tanker shifted as the truck from Trans Wood trucking of Omaha, Nebraska, took a curve, causing it to overturn. The driver was uninjured.

And when we say the entire interchange, we mean everything. Planning on taking Central Expressway from Plano to Downtown Dallas? You goofy. Wanting to get from east Dallas to Sam Moon over on the west side? No bedazzled handbags for you today. Good news though, eastbound LBJ is open, allegedly. (more…)

Mr. and Mrs. Stewart — we know that this happy couple won’t be auditioning for “Married at First Sight.”

Married at First Sight is an American reality television series based on a Danish series bearing the same name. The format created in Denmark has been adapted in the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland.  The series features three couples, paired up by relationship experts, who agree to marry when they first meet. The couples spend their wedding night in a hotel before leaving for a honeymoon, woo hoo. Upon returning home, they live together as a married couple for eight weeks. Thereafter they can choose to stay married or divorce. The show has been around for five seasons and is coming to Dallas in a few weeks to film here.

SOS the Dallas show needs candidates, mostly hetero guys, but anyone who is willing to participate according to the terms — get set up, then see if it all works — can apply for the show.

When I first heard about the show, I was a little skeptical: how can you marry someone you have just met at first sight? Of course I applied it to real estate: who buys the very first house they see?

Turns out, a lot of people. I couldn’t find hard core statistics, but according to HOUZZ, a lot of people fall in love with the first house they see:

Looked once and knew I would buy it. Even the selling agent said he knew I was his buyer. Had to convince hubby

Sometimes that first look is even on the internet!

And then I found that actually, the show has done a pretty good job at playing matchmaker. (more…)

 

What are the best Dallas-area neighborhoods for trick or treating? Find out from Zillow. (Photo: Stephen Depolo via Flickr)

What a treat! Zillow released its annual Trick or Treat Index, and this year, Dallas haunts the chart at No. 11. The index narrows down the best cities to score candy based on single-home density, average home values, and number of children under 10. In summary: More candy for less walking.

After the jump, check out  Zillow’s list of top spots and a few other local haunts. Plus, brush up on some Halloweeen safety tips to keep the night freakishly fun. Got any favorite trick-or-treating spots? Hit us up in the comments with the best neighborhoods for those full-size candy bars.

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Last week, Amazon announced they are seeking proposals from municipalities to build a second headquarters away from their original Seattle location.  They expect to spend $5 billion to fully build-out the campus that would house “as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs” and be the same size as the Seattle campus … over the next 15 to 17 years.  They also figure their gravitational pull will bring in “tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.” High-paying is defined as jobs exceeding $100,000 per year in salary.

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A temporary restraining order was filed by Hiram Patterson at the last minute, stopping the Dallas City Council from removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park.

Robert Wilonsky and Tristan Hallman at the Dallas Morning News alerted us that, just as soon as crews were trying to figure out how to remove the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee astride a horse in Oak Lawn’s Lee Park, work was ordered to stop. That’s thanks to a temporary restraining order filed by one Hiram Patterson. 

The statue, a symbol of one of the most revered figures of the long bygone Confederacy, has been a contentious subject around the horseshoe at 1500 Marrilla. The vote, which took place earlier today, ended with 13 council members and our Mayor Mike Rawlings voting for removal, with Sandy Greyson objecting — she wanted more time to study — and Ricky Callahan straight up walking out. 

U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater granted a temporary restraining order as the removal appeared imminent. The Dallas City Council had voted in favor of immediate removal earlier in the morning and crews had been trying to figure out how to remove the statue through much of the afternoon.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The case was brought by Hiram Patterson against Mayor Mike Rawlings and the City Council.

According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, there’s only one Hiram Patterson on record, residing in Northeast Dallas. A cursory Google search brings up a lot of Confederate flags. And gravestones. Here’s who filed the suit, according to D Magazine:

The temporary restraining order was filed by Kirk Lyons, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “white supremacist lawyer,” on behalf of Hiram Patterson and the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who contend in the motion that the removal of the statue is a violation of their rights of free speech and due process. Lyons, who denies being a white supremacist and called himself a “Christian attorney of Southern ancestry” in an interview with the New York Times, filed a similar lawsuit against the University of Texas after it removed Confederate statues on its campus.

Read the full complaint after the jump:

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Will the statue be removed today? Yes!  No!

Update 12:02 am: The statue of Robert E. Lee will be moved and stored. More than 50 people signed up to speak at this morning’s City Council meeting concerning the removal of the statue, and several more (including Pierce Allman) were not able to make it to the mic. Per a motion filed by Mayor Pro Tem Carraway, the statue is to be removed and stored in a safe place (using city funds, then to seek private funding to reimburse the city for the removal and storage) while the task force seeks input, discussion and a final decision. Ricky Callahan made a motion for a citizen’s vote: thinks moving the statue might hurt the upcoming bond vote. Says 15 member council should not have power to remove statues, needs to be taken to the voters. Callahan also suggested re-naming Lee Park to Freedom Park. His motion only got 3 votes – 4 for the record, but Kevin Felder did not intend to push the button. Felder wants Lee Park to go back to the original name Oak Lawn Park. Jennifer Gates reminded us of the history framing the erection of the statue and the anti-black deed restrictions (still) found in many Dallas neighborhoods and was the only member who asked the City Manager for the cost of removal ($450,000). Her comments were touching as she relayed a story her father, Roger Staubach, had told about encountering racism while in the Navy. But Philip Kingston really hit the nail on the head: “These monuments represent a false telling of history… there is no erasing of history today.” Let the discussion begin.

The Dallas City council is holding a special vote this morning on the Robert E. Lee statue on Turtle Creek Blvd. There are speakers scheduled, including a lovely woman I met last evening at the statue at Robert E. Lee Park over on Turtle Creek. The meeting is said to be a formality, really, because the bulk of the Council has already decided to tear the statue down after a proclamation made weeks ago by Philip Kingston. You can read all about it here from Jim Schutze.

Sources tell me the voting will begin at 9:45 am as cranes move in at 9:46. Dallas police have been ordered not to tell anyone this, nor to publish any posts on FaceBook, stemming off any violence (which was why I decided not to post this last night.) DPD have blocked off the streets surrounding the building. Are the cranes far behind?

Meantime, the Dallas print media is looking like night and day on this issue.

Over at the Dallas Morning News,  Tristan Hallman says a new group that includes Pierce Allman of Allie Beth Allman & Associates, has formed and is saying, “whoah Nellie” to yanking down that statue. His story ran 12 hours ago.

The new group, Dallas Citizens for Unity and Reconciliation, hopes the City Council will hold off removal while a task force analyzes and discusses what do do about the statue and city’s other Confederate symbols. Presumably they are speaking at Council today.

“It looked like it was just moving too fast,” said Hank Tatum, one of the group’s leaders, referring to the removal fever.

Other members of the new group besides Tatum, who is a former Dallas Morning News editorial page editor, include former Dallas Morning News columnist William Murchison, Pierce Allman, husband of his company’s namesake and a well-deserving Father of the Year, real estate executive Kirby White, and Jane Manning, co-founder of the Lee Park and the Arlington Hall Conservancy.

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