flag stompersAlso wanted to alert you to a story by Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer, that gives us some insight into how bratty SOME kids in Plano are. Not all the kids in Plano — there are many fine teens out there, of course, but these young hoodlums need a good kick in the rear, in my opinion.

Their act of vandalism was to desecrate and stomp on a U.S. flag in a veteran’s yard. Eric quotes the owner of the home, a Vietnam vet, as saying the kids were just laughing through-out the entire act, stomping away on the flag and the unique flag-holder, as you can see in the video. Oh yes, he caught it all on tape:

“They ran over to the statue with the American flag and attempted to steal the statue and desecrated the American flag,” Larry Lorance, the Vietnam vet in question, wrote on his website.

Not surprising, Lorance is pursuing his “own brand of vigilante justice, which involves posting the video online in hopes of forcing the kids to “step up and take responsibility for their actions now.”

Fat chance. Reminds me of something my son thinks we need in this country: compulsory service for all teens. Not military service, but service to their country to help them develop an appreciation for how wonderful this country is. Maybe then they would have some respect for the U.S. flag, and all it stands for.

Puppy Rescue


(Photo: Dallasnews.com)

Stories like this give my gag reflex a workout. We at CandysDirt.com are big fans of animals, so when we hear about this kind of thing our hearts just break.

Word comes from crackerjack reporter Eric Nicholson that Dallas Animal Services have seized 46 dogs and cats from a feces-filled North Dallas home. The animals were in various states of distress. Sounds like a classic case of animal hoarding to me.

Such large-scale animal hoarding cases don’t happen every day in Dallas, but they’re not exactly rare either. In general, [Dallas Animal Services manager Jody] Jones says, the owners’ intent isn’t typically criminal, even if their actions are. “There’s no doubt that these people loved their pets and thought they were doing the right thing by them, but sometimes people’s heart can overwhelm their ability to provide for the care and maintenance, not only for the animals but the home and the facility around them.”

When we were renting in Junius Heights, we reported a neighbor for hoarding cats. Really, if you came within 10 yards of her home you couldn’t help but smell the situation. When we saw crate after crate leaving the house, and our neighbor on the front drive in her caftan, absolutely beside herself, we still knew that we did the right thing.

So here’s what I’m wondering: Why did it take so long for neighbors to do the right thing and help those poor animals living in squalor? Did they not know? Could they not smell the layers of feces? Also, what do hoarders do to property values? And how do you sell a home that’s been damaged by hoarding (some smells never come out, folks!)?

Kit Lane masterSometimes you need to know interesting things about the neighborhoods you choose to live in. Let’s take The Park Cities and Preston Hollow, and what goes on behind closed doors in Preston Center, where both communities ah, shall we say, shop. We get this hysterical story from Eric Nicholson at The Dallas Observer. In one of those nondescript office buildings on Westchester in Preston Center, not too far from the dance recital place, Dr. George Toledo and My Fit Foods, there is an Anti-Aging Clinic.

I think we used to go there for marriage counseling.

But this is not just any Anti-Aging Clinic. This one sent out a press release to advertise — I really have to just flat out quote Eric here, because I am totally blushing:

“… a “medical breakthrough.” It’s called the Priapus Shot®, and it supposedly makes your dick bigger. The clinic dispatched a press release about it on Friday. “The science is there,”Dallas Anti-Aging Institute medical director, Dr. Robert Newberry, says in a press release. “And the increase we’re seeing in penis length and girth is immediate and dramatic.”


Zach Tallon, age 53

Everythings bigger and better in Preston Hollow/Park Cities. Do read Eric’s story. I am just sort of wincing thinking of what’s going on in those rooms now. Guess it’s a whole lot more POTENT than the mid-marriage blahs “he says/she says” we used to dish out. Is this Zach Tallon guy, the owner, and this Dr. Charles Runnels really the secret to a lot of Park City/Preston Hollow men’s happiness? Could this clinic be raising property values, along with…


Dr. Charles Runnels

Then in far North Dallas, over on Kit Lane near Coit, Dallas police just busted a two-year old INTERNATIONAL prostitution ring that involved a couple massage parlors. A guy named  Quyen Thuc Ha, who operated the two spas, actually called a Dallas police detective on his desk phone, and  believed a monthly pay off of $2,500 would protect his two brothels from any police action. Maybe Ha should have bribed with the Priapus shots over dinero.

This is a listing on Kit Lane, a condo unit at 13340 Kit Lane, NOT the home where the working girls were arrested. This unit has been listed since Oct. 31 of 2012, and the price has been reduced from $96,500 to $75,000.  Obviously, the real estate in this part of Dallas is not hopping.

But some other things sure are.

Coit and Arapaho

Great piece by Eric Nicholson on Unfair Park today about residents fighting a proposed Walmart at Coit and Arapaho roads.

The area has seen a pretty steady decline in recent years, with retailers leaving and the shopping center at Coit and Campbell roads growing. But the owners have plans to add a 90,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter to the intersection.

According to the story in the Advocate’s far north Dallas edition, residents have petitioned Sandy Greyson and area neighbors to stop the Walmart from moving in. That’ll be an uphill battle as Nicholson noted in his post.

Of course, Walmart is well practiced at handling neighborhood opposition, sometimes working with neighbors, sometimes around them to get stores built. Look at the Neighborhood Market on Lower Greenville. If you can successfully build a store literally across the street from Avi Adelman, you can build one anywhere.

I understand the residents’ concerns, especially since there’s a Walmart Neighborhood Market at Coit and Roundrock, less than a mile from the proposed Supercenter. That seems like a little too much market saturation, even for America’s most ubiquitous big box retailer.

So far, more than 1,400 people have signed a petition against the proposed Walmart, some of them claiming that the store brings in an unsavory demographic and does little to mitigate its impact on surrounding neighborhoods.

Do you think having a Supercenter in your neighborhood would lower your property values?

Please welcome Amy Curry to Candy’s Dirt! Curry, the brains behind Blue Cedar, loves good design and great beer. She’ll be writing the new “Wishlist Wednesday” feature, where she sets out to find the coolest furnishings and gadgets for your posh pad. While she doesn’t recommend beer pong on today’s Wishlist Wednesday find, that doesn’t mean you can’t! — Joanna

I don't recommend beer pong on this luxury ping pong table.

Eleven Ravens‘ table tennis tables are a thing of beauty. Their hand-crafted, American-made works of art allow you to liven up your gatherings without making your home look like a frat house.

These table tennis tables come in several different styles, available in a variety of woods and finishes. I absolutely love that these tables look more like sculptures than game tables. Paired with a fully stocked kegerator/minibar, you may never get your friends to leave or your husband out of the house (this is for you, Eric Nicholson).

With no prices listed on their website, I can only image that these furniture-quality tables cost more than my car. But I can certainly see the appeal and the market for high-end gaming tables. My partner Kristin and I entertain guests quite often at our home, and our social meetings tend to be a little more active than just sitting around the dining table for a game of couples backgammon.

During the less smoldering months, our get-togethers stay primarily outdoors. Our garage is equipped with a dartboard, and there is talk of a horseshoe pit. But once the Texas summer heat is in full effect, we are forced to move the party inside, where we have a black lacquer furniture-quality foosball table.

Unfortunately, this one table can only entertain four guests at a time, but Kristin and I have already determined that our next home must have a large game room to accomodate a few more luxury game pieces. I wonder if Eleven Ravens offers financing? Hmmm …

Anyway, I also love that this company donates some of their profits to some great causes:


UPDATE: I got an e-mail back from a salesperson at Eleven Ravens. The table pictured above runs $13,875 and is also available in brushed aluminum for $15,625.


Eric Nicholson is in the habit of tossing babies around, so his new place will require high ceilings.

Eric Nicholson is the new Robert “Fingers of Fury” Wilonsky. The young journo, formerly of the Texarkana Gazette, has taken over the helm of Unfair Park, the Dallas Observer blog. With his new gig, he’s back in Dallas and holed up at his parents’ house in North Dallas with his wife, Megan, his 3-year-old, Connor, and another baby on the way. Obviously, he needs a great house for a great deal. Any takers?

So, where do you want to move?
Well, we’d like to be in North Oak Cliff or maybe Lakewood-ish, but we haven’t exactly gotten around to picking a house since Megan’s been in Texarkana and I’m not allowed to make decisions. For the time being we’ll be staying with my parents, using Connor, our 3-year-old, as a bargaining chip. They live in far North Dallas, Spring Creek neighborhood. Amenities include a fully-stocked refrigerator, satellite television and free childcare.

Price Range:
If we’re buying, maybe $150k (I’m a journalist), but we’re still sitting on the fence on the rent-buy question.

I’m sure Megan will find one.

Why are you moving?
Job. If you don’t read Unfair Park, then you should.

Where are you moving from?
Texarkana. The city’s motto is “Twice as nice,” presumably a reference to the fact that Texarkana is in fact two municipalities on either side of the state line. Twice as nice as what exactly is an open question.

So, you’re going to be rubbing elbows with Jim Schutze. Nervous? Do you think he keeps his shotgun hidden in his desk drawer?
Jim carries his shotgun everywhere. Story meeting? Shotgun. Trinity toll road hearing? Shotgun. But once you get past the gruff, shotgun-wielding exterior, he’s a teddy bear, albeit one who is extremely cynical about local government. For example: On my second day, as I chatted with Councilwoman Angela Hunt and a concerned citizen at said toll road hearing, he strolled up and introduced himself as my father. We all chuckled, though I had to correct the concerned citizen when he began discussing “your dad’s first book.” (aka The Accommodation, Schutze’s masterwork on Dallas race relations).

OK, back on topic: What are you looking for in a home?
Me? A roof, walls, and a kegerator. Which might point to why I’m not allowed to make decisions.

When it comes to choosing a house, what’s a deal-breaker for you?
When Megan says she hates it.

What shocked you about the search?
Real estate in Texarkana is, believe it or not, much less expensive than in Dallas, so even though we were only away for two years, it’s painful to contemplate how much more we’ll be paying.

What pleased you?
Considering I haven’t done much actual searching, it’s been really, really easy.

So far in your house hunt, what have you learned?
I actually think I have it pretty well figured out: Let the wife do it. Everyone’s happier that way.