Rabbi Paley: Notes from the memorial for fallen officers

Posted on 18 Jul 2016 at 3:09pm

Rabbi Andrew Paley, right, speaking at the Meyerson

Rabbi Andrew Paley, senior rabbi at Temple Shalom in North Dallas, described the experience of participating in the memorial at the Meyerson Symphony Center to the five police officers killed in an ambush on July 7, as “powerful, exciting, overwhelming.”

Paley was one of three clergy who offered a prayer during the tribute, and he sat on stage directly behind First Lady Michelle Obama.

The dignitaries on the stage whispered to one another several times throughout the event. But it seems what the audience most noticed was when former President George W. Bush whispered some comment to the First Lady and her reaction to him.

Micki Rawlings leaned over to say something to Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price commented to DART Police Chief James Spiller. The Bidens interacted. But the current first lady and former president were cutting up like old friends.


Michelle Obama seems to be trying not to laugh at a comment former President George Bush made to her while their spouses look on.

Paley said the comments he heard were mostly innocuous. Commenting on one soloist from the interfaith choir that performed, Bush leaned over and said, “Man, can she sing.”

But other comments got more of a reaction when Bush said something to the first lady and both his wife and her husband laughed at Michelle’s response.

Paley said the Bushes arrived at the Meyerson about 40 minutes before the Obamas and Bidens, who had been visiting injured officers at Parkland Hospital before the service. He said while they were waiting backstage, Bush put everyone at ease, asking, “How’s it going everybody?” as he walked in.

“I understood why people like him,” Paley said.

Paley described Mrs. Bush as “classy, composed and refined,” but as they waited for the Obamas, the other memorial participants sat in a circle talking.

“Bush tried to connect with everyone,” Paley said. He didn’t want any formality. “You know, I’m not the president,” Bush told them and sat in the circle with them. To make those participating on the world stage for the first time, along with others who were old hands at it, the former president told some stories as they waited backstage for what would be a very solemn and moving event.

Bush told the group about meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Putin came to the White House, he met Bush’s Scottish terrier Barney. When Bush was in Moscow, he visited Putin’s residence. The Russian leader brought out his dog, Konni, a black Labrador retriever, and said, “My dog’s bigger.”

As they waited for the Obamas and Bidens, the choir sang on stage, but backstage, the group chatted. Paley asked Bush if he was still painting. “Like a madman,” Bush said. Paley told the former president he had seen his series of portraits of world leaders at the Bush Library. “Not my finest work,” Bush told him.

Before going on stage, Paley asked Bush if he’d ever been to Temple Shalom. “Not yet,” Bush told him. Paley invited him, saying, “We’d love to have you.” Bush said jokingly, “I don’t get that far north.” Temple Shalom is just north of LBJ Freeway on Hillcrest at Alpha Road.

Paley described Vice President Joe Biden as very likable. “He’s just like on TV — warm and approachable.”

As they lined up to go on stage, Biden was behind Paley. The rabbi said something about being ahead of the Vice President and Biden joked, “I’m Catholic, but I’d follow the Jews anywhere.”

He called the President and First Lady “genuinely nice people,” and said he left feeling the Obamas were “real humans who were really heartbroken” after all efforts to do anything about gun violence had been thwarted. After the memorial, Paley said, Obama spent about an hour with the families of the slain officers.


Help Dallas Elite get to Pittsburgh for the WFA championship

Posted on 18 Jul 2016 at 1:32pm

Dallas Elite’s Janice Mitchell, 33, breaks free for some yardage in the Dallas team’s earlier outing against the DC Divas. Dallas Elite won that game, 40-19. (Photo courtesy Douglas Charland)

Dallas Elite — after going undefeated in regular season play for two consecutive seasons — defeated the Central Cal War Angels, 34-28, to win the Women’s Football Alliance’s Division 1 American Conference championship on July 9.

Now Elite will face the DC Divas on Saturday, July 23, in Pittsburgh for the WFL Division 1 National Championship. And you can help them get there.

The team, co-owned and coached by O.J. Jenkins, is raising money this week to pay for the trip. You can contribute in one of two ways: through the GoFundMe page here, or by having drinks and a delicious appetizer tonight (Monday, July 18) at La Comida Mexican Kitchen and Cocktails.

From 6-10 p.m., La Comida, at 5100 Belt Line, Ste. 796, is offer the Elite Championship Special, which includes two drinks — house frozen Rita, rocks, the signature flamingo, red wine, white wine, and/or beer — and one house appetizer for only $12.

This is a one-night-only, cash-only special offer, and proceeds will help pay the team’s way to Pittsburgh. AND, hairstylist Ari Darocy has said she will be at La Comdia tonight, selling gift certificates for haircuts, and half of all her proceeds from that effort will go to Dallas Elite, too.

If you can’t make it out to La Comida tonight — or even if you can, and just want to help some more — you can donate to the team’s travel fund on the Dallas Elite GoFundMe page. These ladies have played hard and played well all season. Let’s show them Dallas supports them, and get them to Pittsburgh where they can beat the Divas.


Bill Eure has died

Posted on 18 Jul 2016 at 10:25am

Bill Eure

Bill Eure, husband of the Rev. Michael Piazza, died overnight in his sleep, at his home in Atlanta, following a fierce battle with cancer.

Eure is survived by his family: husband Michael Piazza, his daughters Jerica Coughlin and Jordan Coughlin, his brother John Eure, David Plunkett and Sheila Coughlin.

Eure and Piazza met in Dallas in 1980, before Piazza became pastor of Cathedral of Hope. The family moved to Atlanta from Dallas in 2011 where Piazza became the senior pastor at Virginia-Highland Church.

Eure is originally from Goldsboro, N.C. and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He worked for Hewlett-Packard. Eure had many interests, and was a certified sommelier.

On his Facebook page, Piazza wrote the following tribute:

Last night my beloved Bill died in his sleep. He left far too soon, but I had the privilege of loving and being loved by him for thirty-five and a half years. I told him yesterday that he was always my proof that God really does love me. So next time you raise a glass of champagne or good wine remember that smile and toast a life well lived. XOXO

The Rev. Neil Cazarez-Thomas isuued the following statement on behalf of Cathedral of Hope:

Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ, Dallas TX is saddened by the news of the passing of Bill Eure, husband of Reverend Michael Piazza, former Senior Pastor and influential leader of progressive Christianity.

Bill was an integral part of Reverend Piazza’s 24-year ministry at Cathedral of Hope and he served in numerous roles, sharing his talents and gifts in abundance.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Reverend Michael and their two daughters Jerica and Jordan.  We join with members of Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta, where Reverend Michael currently serves, as we share in their loss.

As people of faith we understand that death is not the end, but rather a gateway to eternity.  We share and mourn our loss, even as we celebrate a life well-lived.

RIP, good and faithful servant.

The Reverend Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas
 Senior Pastor


3 officers dead, 2 wounded in Baton Rouge

Posted on 17 Jul 2016 at 2:17pm
Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 2.07.51 PM

A screen shot from Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate’s website.

Less than a day after the fifth of five law enforcement officers murdered July 7 in Dallas was laid to rest, three officers have been killed and three more wounded in Baton Rouge. Reports by The Advocate, a local newspaper, two of those killed were Baton Rouge PD officers, and the third was an East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy.

One suspect has been killed by police, but authorities are saying at least two more gunmen may still be at large. The attack happened just before 9 a.m., less than a mile from BRPD headquarters. CNN reports that it happened in a “rough area” that is “a known drug trafficking area. It is a location where police often go to grab coffee.”

USA Today reports, “Baton Rouge Police arrested a 12-year-old boy last week who they say was the fourth suspect in a plot to kill police. Police also arrested three suspects almost a week earlier.”

The attack happened two days after funeral services were held for Alton Sterling, killed July 5 by Baton Rouge police officers called to the scene by a homeless man angry that Sterling wouldn’t give him money.

Sterling’s funeral was held Friday in the 7,500-seat arena where Southern University plays basketball.


Just making sure ….

Posted on 16 Jul 2016 at 10:37pm

Onyx is backing the blue in Dallas and the blue is backing Onyx.

(Photo by Officer Jeremy Borders)



Newt Gingrich is as racist as Donald Trump

Posted on 15 Jul 2016 at 2:49pm

And so dies true freedom of religion (or it would, if Newt Gingrich and others like him had their way.)”

Screen shot 2016-07-15 at 11.08.43 AM


PHOTOS: July 11 Candlelight Vigil for Dallas’ fallen officers

Posted on 15 Jul 2016 at 12:07pm

Dallas Voice Photographer Kay Haygood was at the candlelight vigil Monday night at Dallas City Hall to honor our fallen police officers. Here are some of her shots from the event.


It’s official: Trump names Pence as his running mate

Posted on 15 Jul 2016 at 11:29am
Lisa Keen | Contributing Writer
Keen News Service

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

If Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has any weakness in the eyes of the conservative Republican Party base, it’s that he’s too soft on LGBT people.

That seemed to be the general assessment of various commentators this week as they first imagined and then learned through a Twitter post Friday morning, July 15, that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has named Pence as his vice presidential running mate.

LGBT people, however, disagree.

Trump was scheduled to hold a press conference Friday morning to announce his choice of a running mate, but abruptly canceled that plan Thursday night after a shocking attack on Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, killed more than 80 people. Trump then posted a Twitter message late Friday morning, making the announcement official.

Pence, who pondered a run for the Republican nomination in 2012, is said to be well respected among Republican conservatives, but he is not well liked by LGBT activists.

Rich Tafel, former president of the national Log Cabin Republicans group, called Pence “about one of the worst people for gay equality based on his experience in the House and as governor.”

But, added Tafel, “There is an upside.”

“Pence is a favorite of the evangelicals and endorsed [Ted] Cruz. If this bus goes off the cliff, which I think it might,” said Tafel, “it is better to have the evangelicals and the white nationalists in it together.

“Whatever happens, they will blame others for their failure. But the fact that 85 percent of evangelicals are on board with Trump is good for those of us seeking to create a new center-right party. Had Trump chosen someone more moderate, the far right would say that’s why we lost,” Tafel said.

As a member of the U.S. House, Pence opposed every piece of pro-equal rights legislation that came to the floor in the House, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).

He also voted for amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. In each of those years, his record on LGBT issues repeatedly earned him a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard.

Speaking at an event in Iowa in 2011, Pence suggested that allowing same-sex couples to marry would lead to an economic meltdown. He told MSNBC that repeal of DADT amounted to trying to “advance a liberal social agenda” and “mainstream homosexuality.”

In 2014, Gov. Mike Pence led the move to pass a state bill banning recognition of same-sex marriages. The bill called for also banning recognition of other forms of same-sex relationships, such as civil unions. And in 2015, he supported and signed a bill that would have allowed citizens to discriminate against LGBT people by claiming to hold a religious belief that compelled them.

Bob Vander Plaats, who has headed up anti-gay campaigns in Iowa, told an Iowa television station that Pence would attract evangelicals to the ticket because he is “pro-life” and against marriage for same-sex couples.

But Pence disappointed some conservatives last year when — after first supporting and signing the “religious freedom” bill — he signed a “clarification bill” aimed at “resolving controversy” and “making clear every person feels welcome and respected” in Indiana.

He did so only after boycotts of the state in the wake of the bill’s passage began to cost Indiana thousands of dollars. Still, a number of conservatives expressed unhappiness with Trump’s choice.


© 2016 by Keen News Service




Storm over Dallas

Posted on 15 Jul 2016 at 9:52am

Storm.2.webPhotos by Tammye Nash, taken from the top of our parking garage in the Design District, facing south and southeast, as a storm moved in Friday morning, July 15, about 9:30 a.m.



Second North Texas UMC church votes for same-sex marriage

Posted on 14 Jul 2016 at 9:48am



Rev. Eston Williams

A second North Texas conference Methodist Church has voted for same-sex weddings, according to the United Methodist Church website.

The article doesn’t refer to the first — Northaven UMC in North Dallas — and expresses some surprise that the second was rural Aley UMC, located outside Seven Points.

Seven Points is on Cedar Creek Lake, which has a large LGBT weekend and retirement community. Celebration Church on the Lake in neighboring Mabank was established with an outreach to the LGBT community, with help from the Rev. Carol West of Celebration Church in Fort Worth.

About 80 percent of Aley’s congregation voted to support its pastor, the Rev. Eston Williams, in his intention to conduct same-sex weddings, including Jim Braswell, mayor of nearby Gun Barrel City.

Williams, 67, who has been with the church 18 years, said he has opposed the Methodist position that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity for years, but was persuaded to ask for a vote when his two daughters said they didn’t want to be affiliated with “a denomination that isn’t fully inclusive.”

The resolution voted on by the congregation ends with the statement, “We support our pastor to hold same-gender weddings in the sanctuary of Aley United Methodist Church.”

Aley, which rhymes with “daily,” is an unincorporated area of Henderson County west of Seven Points. The city of Seven Points has annexed West Cedar Creek Parkway for several miles west of town into the area known as Aley. Aley UMC is at 1215 W. Cedar Creek Parkway.