Investigation ongoing to determine if child was injured at Bryan’s House

By John Wright Staff Writer

A joint investigation is continuing into a possible abuse case involving a 5-month-old boy who was staying at Bryan’s House, the well-known nonprofit that began as a facility to care for AIDS babies.

The Texas Child Protective Services division removed 18 children in the state’s custody from Bryan’s House last week after it was discovered that the infant had a broken collar bone and leg.

It could be months before the investigation conducted by CPS, the Dallas Police Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services is complete. And Bryan’s House Executive Director David Thomas said officials from the facility planned to discuss on Thursday, March 29, whether to accept other, non-CPS children into its residential program in the meantime.

The residential program, which has a capacity of 20, has been empty since the CPS children were removed.

“We really haven’t had a chance to make a decision,” Thomas said. “I think we’re going to be taking other kids.”

Bryan’s House, which celebrated its 20th anniversary Tuesday, March 27, today treats not only children with HIV, but also those with other serious medical conditions and the children of parents with HIV and other conditions.

In addition to the residential program, Bryan’s House operates a day care with a capacity of 108 that continues to serve about 30 to 40 children, Thomas said.

“It’s going right ahead as usual,” he said.

Lt. C.L. Williams, supervisor of DPD’s crimes against children unit, said detectives have been interviewing employees and volunteers from Bryan’s House since the infant’s injuries were discovered.

DPD is trying to establish a time frame for when the injuries occurred so that it can focus on who had access to the infant. The time frame is critical because Bryan’s House has 40 full-time employees and uses some 1,000 volunteers annually.

DPD also has not ruled out that the injuries occurred accidentally, Williams said.

“We honestly don’t know what we have,” he said. “It’s a slow and tedious process.”

Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Family and Protective Services, which is over CPS, said her agency’s investigations typically take 30 days. Depending on the results, the investigation could also be followed by an appeal process.

Gonzales said the children were removed as a precautionary measure and no CPS children will be placed at Bryan’s House until the investigation is complete.

Both Williams and Gonzales stressed that the facility has no other history of abuse cases.

“I’m not aware of any problems that we’ve ever had with them in the past,” Gonzales said.

One unexpected benefit of the investigation and associated media coverage was a larger-than-expected turnout at the 20th anniversary celebration, which drew around 150, Thomas said.

“You find out who your friends are,” he said.

E-mail wright@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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Job Expo brings LGBT job hunters, employers together

By Kelli Doyle Contributing Writer

About 150 potential employees attend event at Resource Center

The Resource Center of Dallas hosted the second annual GLBT Job Expo on Wednesday, March 28, giving eager job seekers and a variety of businesses from banking to health care to communication companies the chance to meet.

Seventeen businesses and about 150 visitors crowded into the space as applicants looking for that perfect job talked with representatives from diverse companies like Nortel and Chipotle and Pitney Bowes who provided a wealth of information to job seekers. Some of the companies gave interviews on the spot, with job openings ranging from entry-level jobs to managerial positions.

“This is one of the most valuable things we can do for our community,” said Mike McKay, executive director of the Resource Center, “because you get talented people talking to talented companies; some of the top businesses and corporations in the country.”

“These are trained people who understand the true value of diversity,” he said.

This year the Expo was co-sponsored by the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re talking to a lot of people and helping them network,” said Tony Vedda, membership division chair for the chamber. “There is great diversity here, which is wonderful.”

Many companies at the Expo were there not only to offer employment opportunities, but also to provide information about their business and answer any questions. Terry Booher, an assistant vice president for Bank of America, Turtle Creek Banking Center, says he wants people to see Bank of America as an opportunity for employment.

“When people think “‘bank’ they think “‘teller’ and that is where their thinking stops,” Booher said. “If you have experience in any other field, we can take that experience and re-form your talents and get you a better job.”

He said there are job availabilities from couriers to tech support to the call center.

John Bellegante, Caremark customer care representative said that his company, which recently merged with CVS, has job opportunities for pharmacy technicians and pharmacists.

“The Operations Center in Irving is looking for HR people and has availabilities in the IT, marketing and sales and legal departments,” Bellegante said.

Chipotle, with more than 30 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has available positions from bussers to management.

Darchelle Allen, who moved to Dallas from Killeen two weeks ago, was one of the job seekers that attended the expo. She said she is going to school full time and is looking for a part-time job.

“It [school and a part-time job] go hand in hand with each other. It’s also a great way to advance,” Allen said.

The crowd at the Expo didn’t have to worry about going hungry. Volunteers Fred Seufert and Rick Dishman set out an arrangement of finger sandwiches, fruit and desserts supplied by Kroger. Beverages were also available for all who attended.

Gil Flores, associate executive director of GLBT Community Services for the Resource Center, said the center provides all types of resources to the GLBT community, “and one is help in finding jobs.”

The library is full of resources helpful in job search, and staff are always available to lend a hand, Flores said, adding that the emphasis is on job skill training, resume writing and interviewing skills. There will also be help with job placement for those who could not attend the job expo.

Flores said the Resource Center keeps a resume bank and a job bank, “so we can continue to help people.”

McKay said the purpose of the expo is to bring “talented people together with talented companies.”

“For us it’s a win-win situation,” he said.

For more information on the activities and programs offered at the Resource Center of Dallas, call 214-528-0144.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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Local Briefs

By Staff Reports

Valiente supports 2007 Rally for the New American Family

Valiente DFW is lending its support to the Rally for the New American Family at Dallas City Hall Plaza on Sunday, April 1, at 2 p.m.

The purpose of the rally is to promote the integration of Latinos and other groups as full participants in the U.S. by giving them access to information and resources.

Advocating on behalf of all LGBT Latinos regardless of their documentation status is part of Valiente’s mission.

Hispanic chamber to hold forum for Dallas mayoral candidates

The Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host a Mayoral Candidates’ Forum Monday, April 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Dallas Children’s Theater/Rosewood Center, 5938 Skillman St. (at Northwest Highway).

Restland Funeral Home offering free symposium on cremation

Restland Funeral Home and Memorial Park will hold a symposium on “Understanding Cremation” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.

The seminar will cover a variety of topics including cremation laws in Texas, how to plan your own memorial service, costs and memorialization options, followed by an informal question and answer period.

The event is free and will be held in Restland Funeral Home Memorial Chapel located at the Northwest corner of Greenville Avenue and Restland Road.
Restland is located at 9220 Restland Road.

For more information call 972-238-7111.

Dallas PFLAG moves to new meeting site at Northaven Methodist Church

The Dallas chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays has moved its meetings to Northaven United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Northaven and Preston roads, between Royal Lane and Forest Street.

The PFLAG chapter, which numbers about 54 members, will continue meeting at 7 p.m., on the second Thursday of each month. The first meeting of PFLAG at Northaven will be April 12.

For more information about PFLAG/Dallas, visit its Web site at www.pflagdallas.org. For more information about the church, visit www.northaven.org.

Stonewall of Collin County to hold monthly meeting, highway cleanup

The next general meeting of Stonewall Democrats of Collin County will be held April 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at il Grano Bakery & Caf?, 5960 West Parker Road, #210 in Plano.

Guest speaker will be Meredith Fisherman, Outreach and Activism chair for the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County, who will discuss her experience as the Collin County coordinator for Chris Bell’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Those attending are asked to bring a can of tuna for Frisco Family Services food pantry.

The organization also plans to participate in Texas Clean-up Day on April 14 by picking up litter from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., beginning at the intersection of FM 2551 and FM 2514 (Parker Road east of Plano) in Murphy. The group will meet in the parking lot of Victory Church at 6301 E. Parker Road. Supplies will be provided by TxDOT.

DGLA Education Fund holding candidate screening session for Dallas city candidates

The Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance Don Baker Education Fund invites all interested people to attend a Community Candidate Screening featuring candidates for mayor and city council in Dallas on April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

For more information contact Patti Fink by e-mail at pattifink@sbcglobal.net.

Collin County Gay, Lesbian Alliance announces plans for Pride Ride, Walk

The Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance has announced plans for its first Pride Ride & Walk to benefit the Samaritan Inn for Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Plano.

Samaritan Inn is the only emergency shelter in Collin County for the homeless.

The event will include a bike ride or walk in the park and a hot dog cookout.
For more information, go online to www.ccgla.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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Deaths


Dr. Theodore R. Coleman, born July 11, 1939, died in a house fire March 12 in Dallas.

He was a graduate of Wichita Falls High School and received his B.A. degree in languages from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his master’s degree at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude; a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the University of Madrid; and a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex in England.

Dr. Coleman was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, Phi Alpha Theta and Mensa. As a fine arts appraiser in Texas since 1975, he was a certified member of the American Society of Appraisers, the Association of Federal Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Valuers. He held various offices in each of those organizations.

He worked with the Dallas Museum of Art and with the Kimball and the Amon Carter museums in Fort Worth.

He is survived by his cousins and many friends.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the Paradigm Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Thomas Schumacher officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Fine Arts Department of the Dallas Public Library.

We print notices of deaths of members of the GLBT community at no fee. A questionnaire is available to assist you in organizing the information. Certain information is required. The questionnaire can be e-mailed, faxed or mailed to you. You may supply photos as prints (color or B&W) or scans (min. 300 d.p.i. at 3X5). For more information or to submit a notice, e-mail notices@dallasvoice.com or call 214-754-8710 ext. 113 or ext. 128.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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Soundout

By John Wright


It’s that time of year again time to break out the bicycles and start gearing up for this year’s edition of Loan Star Ride. The annual AIDS fundraising bicycle ride, which can range from 80 to 170 miles depending on which route riders choose, is set for Sept. 29-30. The first training ride for the Ride, a 31-mile jaunt, is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 31, beginning at Plano Cycle & Fitness, at 18th Street and North Central Expressway in Plano. The Voice sat down with 44-year-old Arlen Miller, a member of the Lone Star Ride steering committee who has participated in the event each year since 2005.

How did you get involved with Lone Star Ride?
I got involved because a friend of mine who did the ride every year who was HIV-positive made me feel really guilty. I told him I didn’t know whether I could do 100 miles. He looked at me and said: “Girl, look at me. I’m HIV-positive and I do this ride every year, and you’re telling me you can’t do this ride?”

How many people typically participate?
The average number of riders is between 115 and 125. The highest number we’ve ever had was in 2003, when we had 133 riders. Right now we have 113 riders committed for this year’s ride. We want to have over 200 riders.

I understand that you’re trying to recruit new riders from beyond the LGBT community?
The Lone Star Ride is one of the best-kept secrets in the Metroplex, and we would like to have it not be a secret anymore. You can go virtually any Saturday of the month and find a pay ride. Most of them are to benefit specific charities. So what we’re going to do is take a team of riders that will have Team Lone Star ride jerseys, and the purpose of that is so people see us all together as a team and we start creating some buzz and some word of mouth about the Lone Star Ride.

Another new element this year is the Loan Star Locker, which will provide bicycles to those who don’t have them but want to participate. How does that work?
We’re trying to get donations from people going into bike stores, and we’re asking people to donate used bikes, and then the first Saturday of every month, people who want to do the ride but don’t have a bike can come to our warehouse. Then if they raise at least $2,000, we’ll just give them the bike. What we’re trying to do is break down barriers to entry. If anyone wants to give us bikes, we’ll take them.

What’s the easiest way for a newcomer to get involved with Lone Star Ride?
Probably the easiest way is to go to our Web site, www.loanstarride.org. There is plenty of information about the ride and how to get involved. The other thing is, if you’re a rider or crew, you can kind of just show up at the training ride. Just show up on Saturday at Plano Cycle & Fitness. If you like us, you can stay. If you don’t, you can just carry on.

Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer John Wright at wright@dallasvoice.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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Query of the Week

By David Webb

How much influence does the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index have on your choice of businesses when you are making purchases?

“To be honest, I wouldn’t even know where to find it. I usually go by word of mouth. That usually travels a lot faster than anything else.”

Kenneth Kelly
Lab technician

“I don’t do much research before I make purchases. But if I knew a company was not gay friendly I wouldn’t do business with them.”

Nicole Adkins
Workflow coordinator

“I’m a member of HRC. I always look at the index before I make a major
purchase.”

Ted Harris
Manager

“On a scale of 10, I’d give it a six or a seven.”

Greg Tyillian
Communications

“Business is business to me. I don’t know that I’ve ever been treated any differently in business because I’m a gay woman.”

Linda Lucky
Nightclub manager

Have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask?
E-mail staff writer David Webb at webb@dallasvoice.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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Pet of the Week


Otis is an adorable 18-month-old Schnauzer mix. He weighs just 17 pounds and is good with most other dogs. Otis is playful and active. He doesn’t care for children and needs an adult home. Otis is neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and on heartworm preventive.

Dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are available for adoption from Operation Kindness, 3201 Earhart Drive (near Keller Springs Road and Midway Road), Carrollton. The no-kill shelter is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 8 p.m. Thursday) and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Cost to adopt is $110 for cats and kittens and $135 for dogs and puppies. The cost includes spay or neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations and other tests. Those 65 and above and those who adopt two pets at the same time get a $20 discount. For more information call 972-418-PAWS, or visit
www.operationkindness.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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It’s all about the fey sway

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Letters

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Knowledgeable Sources

“They can’t label it a hate crime, but we’re all convinced it was a hate crime rather than a random arson.”

Gay Denton resident Chris McKee, about the fire that destroyed a Denton gay bar

“I have no clue. I don’t have any idea.”

John Barr, attorney for gay Dallas County Constable Mike Dupree, about whether his client will fight a petition filed by three employees to remove him from office

“We’re not going to sit idly by. I can promise you that. This is an issue that we take very seriously.”

Steve Flores, DISD’s chief administrative officer for school support services, in response to allegations of discrimination against LGBT students and employees within the district

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007

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