Couldn’t Ron Natinsky have waited for our forum on Tuesday to endorse Mike Rawlings?

Ron Natinsky

Here’s the full press release that just came across from Ron Natinsky’s campaign:

DALLAS (May 20, 2011) — After much consideration, Ron Natinsky today announced his endorsement of Mike Rawlings for Dallas mayor in the run-off election being held June 18.

“Mike Rawlings is a visionary leader who has the skills to put the team together to keep our citizens safe, to provide quality city services while protecting our taxpayers,” said Natinsky. “Mike will help move Dallas forward. He understands that economic development and jobs — especially in the Southern Sector — are critical if we want to maintain and improve our quality of life.

Natinsky also supports Rawlings’ commitment to public education. He has pledged to work with and campaign for Rawlings in the coming weeks.

Natinsky opened the news conference by thanking his supporters and expressing appreciation to all those who worked on his campaign.

“Ron Natinsky is a man of incredible integrity who loves Dallas and has been a great leader for our city,” said Rawlings. “He has an extremely strong business background — especially in the international arena – which will be invaluable as we work to achieve our economic development goals for all of Dallas.   I’m very honored to have Ron standing with me and plan to engage him as we move the city forward.”

From an LGBT perspective, it’s interesting that Natinsky, who was endorsed by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, has endorsed Rawlings, the subject of a warning by DGLA.

Natinsky announced his endorsement of Rawlings prior to the first public forum of the runoff between Rawlings and David Kunkle, at the Adolphus Hotel this morning. Speaking of which, we’re hosting the second one.

—  John Wright

N. Texas GLBT Chamber marks 6th anniversary

CHAMBER HONORS | Dinner chair Lorie Burch, left, presents awards Fashion Optical owner Morgan Metcalf with the GLBT Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. (Courtesy Terry Walker/563 Photography)

Fashion Optical named business of the year; Bob McCranie of Texas Pride Realty wins businessperson of the year for 2010-11

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Fashion Optical was named business of the year and Bob McCrainie of Texas Pride Realty was recognized as businessperson of the year by the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

On Wednesday, March 30, several hundred members of the chamber attended the sixth anniversary dinner and awards presentation at the Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

Fashion Optical was cited for turning a discount eyewear store into the largest optical store in North Texas.

Morgan Metcalf said he turned the store that was doing about $350,000 annually into an almost $2 million operation in about two years.

“We have the look of luxury at reasonable price points,” he said.

Metcalf spoke about having been bullied in high school and by his father and said that was actually his motivation for success.

“I love being underestimated,” he said.

McCranie was recognized for his work locally with the Carrollton Project, an LGBT outreach project in the northern suburbs, for his evergreen award for promoting environmental issues and for his work nationally. McCranie was instrumental in getting sexual orientation added to the Realtors’ code of ethics.

J.T. Williams was named Emerging Leader for the success of his company, Uptown Capital Title, and for his work in the community. He is treasurer of Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats and volunteers with and raises money for Legacy Counseling Center and Lambda Legal.

Luke Crosland, developer of ilume on Cedar Springs Road, received a double award, the first time the chamber has given two awards to one company in the same year.

The ExtrAA Mile Award and the Member Service Award went to the developer for his commitment to the community and his contributions to the chamber.

“From the start, he made it clear they [ilume] would be part of the GLBT community,” said Lorie Birch, the dinner chair and presenter.

The company donates office space to the chamber as well as separate meeting space for the chamber and other groups.

Raytheon, recipient of the Corporate Ally Award, is “a great partner in the chamber,” said Chamber President Tony Vedda.

“The sponsored the Emerging Leader Award,” he said. “They sponsor a membership for Youth First Texas. They supply us with volunteers. Raytheon has a wonderful track record of diversity and inclusion.”

He said that Raytheon won’t sell more missile guidance systems because of company employment policies and support for the LGBT community.

Raytheon was the first aerospace company to score 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Alice Walker, who heads the company’s LGBT employee group, gave credit for that to Louise Young.

Vedda gave the Chairman’s Awards to Jamie Sloan of the UPS Store Highland Park and Christopher Walthall, owner of Aneita Fern.

Chamber member Candy Marcum called Sloan a tireless ambassador for the community. Sloan has chaired the chamber’s membership and fundraising committees.

Vedda said that when ilume offered the chamber office space, he called Walthall about donating some furniture. Vedda said he hoped for a desk and a chair. Instead, Walthall fully outfitted the office with Stickley furniture, artwork and accessories.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 1, 2011.

—  John Wright

Turtle Creek Chorale helps Adolphus Hotel make First Baptist Church’s ‘Nice List’

The Turtle Creek Chorale will perform from noon to 1 p.m. today at the Adolphus Hotel to kick off WRR 101.1 FM’s weeklong Caroling at the Adolphus series, a live program of seasonal choral music. You can watch the TCC’s performance in person while enjoying complimentary coffee, cider and cookies, but you may want to head out soon because seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. And of course if you can’t make it just tune in to WRR in about 40 minutes.

It’s great to see TCC as part of Caroling at the Adolphus this year, especially since the series has helped land the hotel on First Baptist’s Church’s “Nice List.” Given that our submissions to the list for the Round-Up’s Christmas decorations have been rejected, this may be the closest we come to beating the system. Unfortunately Caroling at the Adolphus will become slightly less gay-affirming on Tuesday when the Highland Park Presbyterian Church Chorale performs.

—  John Wright

Deaths • 11.19.10

Bud Knight passed away on Monday, Nov. 15 of leukemia. In August, he and his partner Chet Flake celebrated their 45th anniversary.

Knight began his career with Neiman Marcus. After two weeks in the executive training program, he became an assistant to Edward Marcus. He became a maternity clothes buyer for Neiman’s and in 1959 appeared on the game show What’s My Line and stumped the panel with that profession. He spent two years on the West Coast working for I. Magnin before returning to Dallas. He retired as president of woman’s retailer Lester Melnick.

In 1965, he met his partner Chet Flake. They met through a friend and played bridge on their first date. They traveled often and despite his illness they were recently able to take a cruise.

Knight was a volunteer at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center where he worked at the front desk for more than 17 years and helped stage Toast to Life. The Turtle Creek Chorale awarded him a lifetime membership after he founded the A-Z Auction. He was a former board member of Bryan’s House and he and Flake walked in LifeWalk for 20 years along with a team that they helped form from their church, St. Thomas the Apostle.

He is survived by Flake and a cousin, Judy Bolen, and Flake’s nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews who all knew him as Uncle Bud. The funeral will be held on Saturday, Nov. 20 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 6525 Inwood Road at 11 a.m.

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Breck Wall, the former Dallasite who created the long-running Bottoms Up comedy revue, died Monday, Nov. 15, in Las Vegas following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Wall was born Billy Ray Wilson in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 21, 1934, and was raised in Freeport, Texas. He spent one year at the University of Texas before moving to New York City for a time. Wall created Bottoms Up with friends in 1958.

Bottoms Up was first staged in Dallas, playing in nightclubs affiliated with Jack Ruby before moving to the Adolphus Hotel where it ran for two years.
The revue then moved to The Castaway in Las Vegas where it played late nights before becoming an afternoon show at the Thunderbird.

The show would run for several years in Las Vegas, then go on tour before returning to a new venue in Las Vegas. Wall’s longtime sidekick, David Harris, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the show originally focused on more sophisticated political humor until the Watergate scandal changed the public mood. Bottoms Up then switched to a more burlesque style, with Vaudeville-era jokes and skits framed by new generations of dancers and pop music.
The revue finally closed in 2007.

Wall also gained some fame in the early 1960s as a roommate of Jack Ruby, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald after Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Wall’s connection with Ruby led to Wall being called to testify before the presidential commission investigating the assassination in 1964.

Wall had no survivors. The Review-Journal said he would be cremated, and that friends are organizing a memorial service for a later date.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 19, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens