GLBT Chamber holds business equality conference

Posted on 09 Sep 2016 at 2:28pm

The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce held its business equality conference today at UNT Dallas College of Law downtown. Among the speakers were state Rep. Rafael Anchia and Small Business Association Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez and SBA Assistant Administrator Eugene Cornelius.

Dallas Voice Publisher Leo Cusimano attended. He quoted Anchia who said at the conference, “These lines on my jacket are tire track from getting run over by the Texas Legislature. I will keep fighting.”

 

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Delivering school supplies to Oak Lawn schools

Posted on 09 Sep 2016 at 11:27am

Members of Rainbow LULAC and Congregation Beth El Binah delivered school supplies to Oak Lawn schools this morning. After heavy cartons of paper and notebooks were loaded into pickups and unloaded at their destination, Councilman Adam Medrano arrived at Rusk Middle School on Inwood Road in time to help carry boxes of tissues.

In addition to Rusk, the group delivered supplies to Maple Lawn Elementary School on Inwood Road and Sam Houston School on Throckmorton Street. Staff at Maple Lawn said they need volunteers after school for clubs and to help children with their homework from 3:15 until 4:30 p.m.

Rainbow LULAC organized the school supply drive. President Alejandro Trevino said he’s looking for more groups to participate in next year’s school supply drive. Groups may either donate supplies or cash that will be used to buy supplies for area schools.

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The train won

Posted on 08 Sep 2016 at 3:42pm

trainA truck tried to beat an Amtrak train at the crossing along Harry Hines Boulevard at Market Center Boulevard. The truck lost.

No one was seriously injured when the train hit the rear of the truck, according to DART police who were on the scene along with sheriff’s deputies.

What’s amazing is that this doesn’t happen regularly. Daily. The Dallas Voice office is right down the street and half of us cross this intersection everyday. People stop for the light on the tracks regularly. Try and stop before the crossing arm and people drive around you. Dumb asses.

train1

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Hi from South Beach

Posted on 08 Sep 2016 at 12:48pm

luncheon-announcement

Hi there, everyone. Just dropping in to say hello from Miami’s South Beach. I am here for the 2016 convention and LGBT media summit presented by NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Today is the first day of the conference, and so far I’ve attended a workshop on transgender representation in the media and a lunch plenary on religious freedom and the LGBTQ community. And I’m on my way now to the NLGJA Boot Camp, presented by Google News Lab, on using freedom of information laws to tell better stories.

Stay tuned for more stories — and photos — from South Beach.

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Apparently no one at the DMN was fired for calling Donald Trump a dumb ass

Posted on 07 Sep 2016 at 11:46am

the_dallas_morning_news_logoApparently no one at the Dallas Morning News was fired for calling Donald Trump a dumb ass. Really. I checked.

And this morning, again no one was fired for issuing a half-assed endorsement of Hillary Clinton, their first endorsement of a Democrat for president since FDR before World War 2 (but not during).

OK, so they didn’t exactly call him a dumb ass, but they did say, “Donald Trump is not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote,” and certainly gave lots of examples why.

That was the final line of their editorial. But here’s where they were wrong. Their headline proclaims, “Donald Trump is no Republican.”

Their headline implies it was someone else who nominated him as the choice to head the party ticket. Despite lots of defections from the party by elected Republicans to the Hillary camp, the majority rallied around Trump, nominated him and are supporting him — at least to some extent.

Here’s what didn’t happen: Lots of Democrats crossed over to vote in the Republican Party in order to nominate the most unqualified person to head a national ticket since, well, ever. Really. Didn’t happen. I even checked. I called Jay Narey, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. How many of his members voted for Trump. With certainty, he said none. The Democratic Party recorded a record number of primary voters, not an exodus to cross over and stick the Republican Party with Trump.

Here’s what did happen. A lot of Republicans voted for Trump. More Republicans voted for Trump than for any of the candidates the Dallas Morning News thinks are better Republicans.

The DMN editorial says these are the beliefs Republicans have had for generations: A belief in individual liberty. Free markets. Strong national defense.

Really? Individual liberty? Is that why the Republican-led Texas Legislature refuses to remove 21.06, the Texas sodomy law, from the state constitution, even it was declared unconstitutional in 2003?

Wasn’t it their choice for Texas Attorney General who advised county clerks to disregard a U.S. Supreme Court ruling about same-sex marriage? Isn’t the right to marry an individual liberty issue? The one Texas county clerk who took the AG’s advise, Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, ended up owing a gay couple $40,000 for legal fees after she followed his advise. Or does individual liberty end with the rights of Republican county clerks to refuse the rights of LGBT people?

At least the Morning News does draw some lines. My right to marry wasn’t an individual liberty issue to them, but banning Muslims from the U.S. does cross the line. At least we agree there.

Over the years, the newspaper has endorsed lots of Republicans who have moved the party farther and farther to the right. My favorite was its endorsement of Stephen Broden, who was running against Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. The paper had to rescind its endorsement when he said armed insurrection isn’t out of the question if he loses. Ah, true democracy in action.

But these editorials weren’t aimed at their Democratic readers whose stomachs collectively turn at a majority of their editorial opinions. It was aimed at their Republican readers using a device Republicans love doing most: quoting Saint Ronald Reagan.

The editorial says, “Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”

So let me speak their own language to them. To quote Ronald Reagan, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.”

Trump is certainly a Republican of today. His signature issue, to build a wall, is absolutely not a Democratic issue. Building a wall is a great issue for Trump. He knows a lot about building crappy structures. When he says, “We’re not going to pay for it,” believe him. He’ll create another corporation to build it, hire Mexicans to do the work and when it’s time to pay the workers who built it, he’ll declare bankruptcy, keeping his promise that Mexico — at least the Mexicans he hires to build it — will pay for it.

So maybe the Morning News believes in the Republican Party that freed the slaves and established the National Park System. Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system created the cities of today. They endorsed Nixon who established the Environmental Protection Agency and opened diplomatic relations with China.

But that’s not the Republican Party of today. The idea Trump — who’s just Sarah Palin with bad hair — came out of nowhere is totally delusional. You may not have left the Republican Party, but yes, the Republican Party left you.

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DA Susan Hawk releases resignation letter

Posted on 07 Sep 2016 at 9:32am
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Former D.A. Susan Hawk

After meeting with her staff yesterday (Tuesday, Sept. 6), District Attorney Susan Hawk released her resignation letter. In it, she lists accomplishments since she took office in January 2015. She concludes with a note to voters in Dallas County saying it was an honor to serve for 22 years as an intern, prosecutor, judge and D.A.

She does not address the timing of her resignation. Had she resigned by last week, the chair of each political party could name someone to be listed on the November ballot and voters would have selected a district attorney. By waiting until September, Gov. Greg Abbott chooses the replacement for the remainder of her term. Abbott has until the election to name a replacement. If he doesn’t, then the office remains open and voters again may choose from candidates nominated by the parties.

Abbott is expected to name a Republican. In a countywide election, a Democrat is likely to win. Hawk is the only Republican to win a countywide election in Dallas since 2004.

Click here for Hawk Letter

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released the following statement on Hawk’s resignation:

“I hope Susan Hawk succeeds in her battle with health challenges and I believe she can. The timing of the resignation is very unfortunate for Dallas County voters because it is coming just days after the ballot submission deadline. Whenever possible, the voters — not the politicians — should decide who represents them in elected office. Had the District Attorney resigned a few days earlier, the Democratic and Republican precinct chairs could have each selected a candidate to represent their respective parties on the upcoming November 8 ballot. The Libertarian Party could have placed a candidate on the ballot as well and the Dallas County voters would then choose their new District Attorney. Because of the timing of the resignation, a political appointee chosen by Governor Abbott will fill the position for over two years.”

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Jungwirth arrested over the holiday weekend

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 at 3:55pm
Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 3.52.03 PM

Craig Jungwirth

The man who set the south central Florida LGBT community on edge by posting threats on Facebook that he would stage an attack that would make the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando look tame has been arrested.

Peacock Panache, an LGBT blog, reports that a Broward County judge held an emergency hearing Saturday, Sept. 3, to issue an arrest warrant for Craig Jungwirth, 50. Jungwirth’s attorney said his client lives in Orange County and didn’t have time to get to the hearing, and Jungwirth was arrested for driving with a suspended license by troopers in Osceola County.

Jungwirth faces charges for violating conditions on a bond stemming from a 2014 incident in which he allegedly defrauded a Wilton Manors innkeeper by refusing to pay his bill for food and drinks, and from an incident in May in which he is accused of damaging windows a Rumors Bar & Grill, a gay bar in Wilton Manors. The judge said that the bond violations coupled with the failure to appear in court Saturday and the “escalating  concerns of public safety” provided grounds for the arrest warrant.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is also investigating the Pulse shooting, began investigating threats Jungwirth posted on Facebook on Aug. 30, the day the threats were reported.

Jungwirth, who recently has been accused of taking over Florida’s Beach Bear Weekend and using it to scam money for the LGBT community, reportedly has a lengthy criminal history that includes numerous restraining orders filed against him. On Aug. 30, he posted several threatening comments to David Herbert’s Facebook page, including this one: “My events are selling out cause you faggots are total patsies. None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

He also said that since gay men “aren’t dying from AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you losers,” and, “I’m gonna be killing you fags faster than cops kill niggers. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”

The FBI is urging anyone victimized by Jungwirth to contact them immediately at 754-703-2000.

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BREAKING: DA Susan Hawk resigning

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 at 12:29pm
Hawk.Susan

DA Susan Hawk

WFAA Channel 8 is reporting that Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk will resign.

By waiting until a week after the deadline in early August, Hawk ensured that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will name her replacement to finish the term, rather than allowing voters to select a new D.A. During her year-and-a-half in office, Hawk has battled depression and has taken two extended leaves of absence.

Soon after coming into office, she created quite a bit of controversy by firing a number of high-level prosecutors and staff. One, prosecutor Cindy Stormer, filed a petition to remove her from office, but a San Antonio judge dismissed the case.

Over the past year, Hawk has held two community forums for the LGBT community at Cathedral of Hope in support of the investigation into a series of attacks on gay men in Oak Lawn.

Hawk is the first Republican to win county-wide office in Dallas since 2004.

Channel 8 reports that Hawk has only worked 66 days this year. She returned to work in August after a 12-week absence.

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Parkland program identifies those at risk for suicide

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 at 10:33am
Parkland

Parkland Hospital

Experts at Parkland Health & Hospital System have developed an innovative suicide prevention program using an algorithm in the electronic health record that triggers the appropriate clinical intervention depending on the patient’s answers to a few simple questions.

Suicide in the U.S. has surged to the highest rate in almost 30 years. From 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate rose by 24 percent according to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Sept. 5-11 is Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring on average every 12.3 minutes.

Parkland launched its Universal Suicide Screening Program last year to identify those at risk and help save lives by intervening immediately. Parkland has more than 250,000 Emergency Department patient encounters and more than 1 million outpatient encounters annually.

“To our knowledge we are the first big hospital system in the U.S. to implement a universal screening program for suicide risk and the data we are gathering will be significant for other organizations in the future,” said Kimberly Roaten, director of quality for safety, education and implementation, Department of Psychiatry at Parkland and associate professor of psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

According to Roaten, 77 percent of people who die by suicide had contact with a primary care provider in the months before their death.

“We want to use every patient encounter at Parkland as an opportunity to identify those at risk,” Roaten said.

The standardized suicide risk screening was added at all Parkland facilities including its community health centers and for all inmates at the Dallas County Jail. Parkland hired psychiatric social workers and trained nursing staff to implement the program.

The Parkland algorithm sorts patients into three suicide risk categories based on their answers to the screening questions: no risk identified, moderate risk identified and high risk identified.

Those at high risk are immediately placed under one-to-one supervision, suicide precautions are implemented, and an evaluation by a behavioral health clinician is initiated. Patients at moderate risk are automatically referred to a psychiatric social worker and usually are seen during the same visit. If a patient chooses not to speak with a psychiatric social worker during the visit, they receive a follow-up phone call to provide additional support and resources.

Emergency has found about 2 percent of patients to be at high risk and 4 percent at moderate risk for suicide. In the inpatients units 0.2 percent of patients were high risk and 0.8 percent were moderate risk. Patients screened at Parkland COPCs were found to have 1.8 percent at moderate risk and 0.15 percent at high risk of suicide.

 

 

 

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Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown announces his retirement

Posted on 01 Sep 2016 at 2:00pm
Chief David O. Brown

Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown

Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown announced his retirement today (Thursday, Sept. 1), less than two months after an assassin killed five police officers and wounded five other officers and two civilians.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Brown spoke about each police officer being asked to do more things than any person is capable of doing. He will be remembered by his officers for serenading them with Stevie Wonder lyrics at a memorial service. President Barack Obama, who attended the service with the first lady and the Bidens and the Bushes, told Brown he was glad he met Michelle first because she loves Stevie Wonder.

Brown gave no reason for his retirement from DPD, but talked about the fallen officers in his letter announcing that he is stepping down. A month earlier, Brown attended a rally at Resource Center and spoke to 1,000 people mourning the victims of the Pulse massacre in Orlando.

Brown has served in the Dallas Police Department for 33 years; his retirement is effective Oct. 22.

Chief Brown’s statement on the Dallas Police blog:

After much prayer, I am announcing my retirement from the Dallas Police Department after 33 years as a Dallas police officer.  My retirement will be effective October 22, 2016.

Serving the citizens of Dallas in this noble profession has been both a true honor and a humbling experience.

Thank you to Mayors, City Managers and Dallas City Council members past and present for allowing me to serve. Thank you for the service you have provided for this great city.

I became a Dallas cop in 1983 because of the crack cocaine epidemic’s impact on my neighborhood in Oak Cliff.  I wanted to be part of the solution. Since that time I have taken great pride in knowing that we have always been part of the solution and helped to make Dallas the world class city it is today.

Let’s always remember the fallen officers including the five officers on July 7, 2016, and the brave men and women of the Dallas Police Department for their sacrifices to keep Dallas safe.  Their memory will remain with all of us forever.  I know the people of Dallas will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made on the streets of our city that awful night.

Officers, your extraordinary service will forever be etched in my heart and will serve as a guidepost for me in the next phase of my life.  You will always be in my prayers.

I want to thank my family for their love and  support.

This is a difficult decision.  I pray for your understanding and well wishes.

Finally, I want to acknowledge my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for my life, health, and strength.  I pray for His continued blessings over my life.

Thank you Dallas and God bless!!

~Chief David O. Brown

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