Penis paintings link vandalism in Grand Prairie to spree in Arlington that included anti-gay slurs

Grand Prairie police are working with Arlington police to determine whether the same vandals are responsible for spray-painted penises that appeared on homes and cars in both of the cities recently.

Detective Lyle Gensler with Grand Prairie police said 10 residences had defaced homes and cars featuring vulgar images spray-painted between 2-6 a.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of Furlong Drive and 2700 block of Triple Crown Lane.

Gensler said several of the images were penises, which were also used in defacing 10 residences in the 1100 block of Crowley Road in Arlington over the weekend, during which anti-gay slurs were also spray-painted on a lesbian couple’s SUV.

Gensler said no biased words targeting race, religion or sexual orientation were used in the Grand Prairie incidents.

Investigators have been in contact with Arlington police and are looking into the same leads, he said.

“We actually are going to compare the two based on the way they were drawn,” he said.

As for the culprits, Gensler said it is most likely teenagers that are responsible for the vandalism.

Arlington police spokesman Tiara Richard said Tuesday morning that although the incident involving the lesbian couple “looks like a hate crime,” it’s too soon to say that definitively.

It’s up to the district attorney’s office to decide whether to prosecute cases as hate crimes in Texas. However, law enforcement agencies do classify cases as hate crimes for the purpose of reporting them to the FBI each year.

But Richard said the determination about whether to report the incident as a hate crime to the FBI won’t be made until the investigation is complete. She took issue with a headline on Instant Tea from Monday which indicated police weren’t “investigating” the incident as a hate crime. Rather, Richard said, Arlington police simply aren’t calling it a hate crime — at least not yet. The headline has since been changed.

“When it comes to criminal investigations, we let the investigation tell us what something is,” Richard said. “We don’t make determinations on the front end of what something is.

“It looks like a hate crime,” Richard added. “It looks like this couple was targeted because of their sexual orientation, and that’s a big element of the investigative process, and that’s part of what we’ll look into. However, until an investigation is complete … they’re not going to call it something that we may in the investigation find that it’s not.”

—  Dallasvoice

PHOTO: Vandals spray-paint anti-gay epithets on lesbian couple’s SUV in Arlington

Vandals spray-painted anti-gay epithets on a lesbian couple’s vehicle and on other vehicles in the same block in Arlington on Saturday in an apparent hate crime, according to David Mack Henderson of Fairness Fort Worth:

Many of you may have seen the enclosed photo circulating online today. Fairness Fort Worth would like to update our community on what actually occurred and also what steps have been taken since. Yesterday, a lesbian couple in Arlington, TX, discovered their car had been vandalized with large spray-painted anti-gay epithets. Sadly, they weren’t alone. Other cars of non-LGBT residents on the same block were also vandalized with sexually derogatory language.

The same-sex couple is grateful for community support and wants you to know that the Arlington Police Department responded in a timely and professional manner. Further, Acting Police Chief Will Johnson has indicated he is willing to engage in dialogue with FFW to assure continued cooperation. The APD also has at its disposal other law enforcement resources that may prove helpful regarding this particular crime.

If there is a silver lining for the same-sex couple – it’s that they are very encouraged by the support of their neighbors on the block who abhor what all of the victims are going through as much as the LGBT Community does. FFW will update you further as circumstances warrant.

Fairness Fort Worth President Thomas Anable added this in an email:

FFW is in contact with Arlington police and victims through local representatives. The victims were contacted by Arlington police at the initiation of the police department and were not the only victims on the street who received sexually oriented vandalism. The other victims were not members of the LGBT community.  The LGBT victims are currently satisfied with the timely and professional response of the police. The neighborhood has been extremely supportive of the victims.  FFW will reach out to Arlington police and put them in touch with the DOJ to assist in reviewing their hate crimes policies and procedures, but all is progressing in a very acceptable manner.

A spokeswoman for Arlington police couldn’t immediately be reached Monday morning. Stay tuned to Instant Tea for more.

—  John Wright

Arlington man sentenced to 14 months for hate crime arson at mosque

Henry Clay Glaspell

U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means this week sentenced Henry Clay Glaspell, 34, of Arlington, to 14 months in prison after Gaspell pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge in connection with an arson fire at the children’s playground at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Education Center in Arlington in July 2010, according to this report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Means ordered Glaspell, who has been free on bond, to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 21.

Glaspell also admitted that he had stolen and damaged some of the mosque’s property, that he had thrown used cat litter at the mosque’s front door and that he had shouted racial and ethnic slurs at people at the mosque on several occasions. Glaspell said his actions were motivated by hatred for people of Arabic or Middle Eastern descent.

Texas legislators passed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which allows enhanced penalties to be assessed to those convicted of hate crimes. But while hate crimes are frequently reported and labeled as such by law enforcement, prosecutors rarely take hate crimes charges to court for fear that it would be too hard to prove a perpetrator’s bias-based intent to a jury.

—  admin

ELECTION: Hightower says voters want change

Chris HIghtower

Early vote totals up in runoff; gay candidate says anti-gay tactics ‘falling on deaf ears’

TAMMYE NASH  |  Senior Editor

ARLINGTON — Conventional wisdom says that turnout in a runoff election will be lower than in the general election. But if early vote numbers are any indication, voters in Arlington’s District 5 are defying conventional wisdom.

And Chris Hightower thinks that’s a good sign.

Hightower is the gay man challenging incumbent Lana Wolff for the District 5 seat on Arlington’s City Council. Hightower came out on top of the five-candidate heap in the May 14 general election, with 39 percent of the vote. Wolff, first elected to the council in 2003, earned a place in the runoff with 35 percent of the vote.

In the May 14 general election, District 5 voters cast 1,179 early ballots, including mail-in ballots. Of those early votes, 42 percent went to Hightower, compared to 34 percent to Wolff.

Early voting for the runoff ended Tuesday, June 14, with a total of 1,196 ballots, including mail-in ballots, cast, Hightower said.

Hightower, who if he is elected would be Arlington’s first openly gay council member, said this week that he has concentrated his runoff campaign efforts on keeping his supporters motivated and on getting them back out to the polls for a second time. And he said he thinks the high early vote turnout means he has accomplished his goal.

“We feel good,” Hightower said Wednesday, June 15. “I think the early vote shows we’ve got a lot of motivated voters out there.”

Hightower said that there are a number of “hot-button” issues drawing voters back to the poll, including the city’s thoroughfare development plan and a hike and bike plan now under consideration.

But, he added, he thinks voters’ desire for new representation is the biggest draw.

“It’s been awhile since we had any real change at city hall, and the voters are ready for it now,” Hightower said.

Although none of the other four candidates in the general election tried to make an issue of Hightower’s sexual orientation, the candidate did find himself the target of anti-gay campaigning by at least one Arlington resident.

“It happened in the general election campaign, and it continued into the runoff,” Hightower said. “I guess that kind of thing is probably typical of politics in general. But we’re just keeping our head down and keeping on talking about the real issues, the things the voters care about. And I think [the anti-gay tactics] are falling on deaf ears.

“The personal attacks just aren’t getting it any more,” he continued. “Voters in municipal elections are smart. They are concerned about the real issues, things like good streets, cutting down on crime and keeping the city safe, creating and keeping good neighbors. Those kinds of personal attacks just aren’t getting any traction with the voters.”

Hightower added, “People care about the issues. People are ready for a change, and we have given them something to vote for.”

Polls in Arlington will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

—  John Wright

Update: Hightower apparently headed for runoff in Arlington

With 80 percent of the vote counted, gay candidate Chris Hightower appears to be headed into a runoff for the District 5 seat on the Arlington City Council with incumbent Lana Wolff.

Although only 112 votes separate the two, Hightower is leading by 7 percentage points.

Their closest competitor is Julie Douglas with 13 percent.

—  admin

Hightower leads after early voting in Arlington

Chris Hightower

Realtor Chris Hightower, who’s vying to become Arlington’s first openly gay city councilmember, leads the District 5 race after early voting.

Hightower received 41 percent of the early vote. Incumbent Lana Wolff is second with 34 percent. Julie Douglas is third with 11 percent, Terry Meza is fourth with 9 percent, and Christopher McCain is fifth with 4 percent.

Although fewer than 100 votes separate Hightower and Wolff, he appears likely to at least advance to a June runoff.

Hightower is endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

For a profile of Hightower, go here.

—  John Wright

Great Spaces: Conditioner love

Yes, you can have a cold house without the big bills — and that’s not hot air

By David Taffet

Perhaps the one thing we loathe the most besides triple digit temps in summer is that dreaded electric bill. The air conditioner is a must for summer in Texas, but the wallet sure takes a beating. One local expert recommends these simple tips to help you keep your cool and some green.

Todd Ylen of TNS Mechanical in Arlington said that only half the air conditioning complaints his company receives could be traced to the main unit. The first thing he checks is the overall cleanliness of what he calls “the guts.” He recommends a professional cleaning with caustic chemicals.

“It should be done professionally,” he says, “The chemicals won’t hurt the plants but it can melt the rubber off your sneakers.”

During the season, he said, don’t be afraid to wash the unit with a hose, but not a pressure washer. A garden hose will not damage an outdoor air conditioning system. They’re made to withstand gale-force winds.

Keep grass and weeds off outdoor condensers. They clog the system and decrease efficiency.

Next, Ylen said he checks the house.

“How efficient is the ductwork?” he says. “How efficient is your house?”

The outer lining of much of the ductwork installed in the 1980s has deteriorated. Squirrels, raccoons and other animals that get into the attic can cause a tremendous amount of damage to the ducts as well.

Cold air will blow in the attic but never reach the living areas of the house if the ducts are torn or worn. He recommends modern, high-insulated ductwork.

Next, he suggests an energy audit company to check for leaks around doors and windows.

“Seal the house,” he says. It pays off in lower energy bills quickly.

And ventilate, he said. Ylen called the old whirlybirds on most roofs worthless.

He recommends solar-powered, fan-driven ventilators. A year ago, he said, they were $1,800. Today they sell for $400, an amount that will pay for itself in one season. He calls it an upfront investment that continues to pay off by lowering electric bills on air conditioning and never costing a cent to operate.

Filters should be changed monthly. Dirty filters prevent the system from drawing air easily, making it work harder and use more energy.
Programmable thermostats are also useful in keeping the system from cooling the house when not needed.

Ylen calls radiant barriers ineffective with a 50-year payback, but insulation very useful.

“A preventive maintenance program is crucial,” he says. He sums up his energy-saving tips to all homeowners — insulate, ventilate and stop air leaks.

TNS Mechanical services homes throughout Texas and has other tips at

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 15, 2011.

—  John Wright

AIDS Outreach Tarrant to close Arlington office, eliminates four positions at Fort Worth office

Officials with AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County announced today that the agency will be closing its Arlington office, effective Aug. 31. The office is located at 401 W. Sanford St. in Arlington. There will be limited access to the office until Aug. 31 to facilitate the closing and alert clients to the change.

Allan Gould

Allan Gould

In explaining the decision to close the Arlington location, Executive Director Allan Gould said: “This is a very difficult decision to reach in light of AOC being actively involved in the Arlington community for over a decade. However, with the effects of the worsening economy and a lack of viable transportation within the city of Arlington it has become clear that those most in need of our programs and services have an on-going challenge in reaching us.”

Because of that, Gould said, the number of clients accessing the Arlington office had been steadily declining, making maintaining that office “no longer an option.”

But the agency will continue to maintain a presence in Arlington by offering regular confidential testing, medical case management and counseling services at the Southeast Campus of Tarrant County College and at the University of Texas at Arlington. Other such locations will be announced in the future.

The four positions being eliminated at the center’s Fort Worth offices, at 400 N. Beach St., are associate executive director of oral health, volunteer coordinator, Arlington program services director and office manager. Duties for those four positions will be reassigned to existing staff members.

AIDS Outreach Center is also reducing the hours of the staff accountant and eliminating all contract counselors, except for one Spanish-speaking counselor. Counseling duties will also be reassigned to existing counseling staff.особенности стимулирования сбыта

—  admin

Concert notice: Julie Schurr to play 1851 Club in Arlington Jan. 8

I just received word that out artist Julie Schurr will bring her “unique fusion of indie rock and comedy” to the area next week. In fact, she calls it “Indierockbitchfolk.” How’s that for branding your own genre?

I’ll tell you one thing though, comedian or not, this video for “Been So Long” is heartbreaking. Man, I wasn’t expecting this at the end of the day (a day so far without snow, I might add).

Her tour stops at the 1851 Club in Arlington next Friday at 9:30. $5 at the door.сайтпродвижение сайта в волгограде

—  Rich Lopez

Not so bad in Texas

If you are one of the many Texans who has had to tighten up those laces around your wallet and has been struggling to make ends meet during the recession, you might find this hard to believe. But Texas is the state that has weathered the financial storm the best — at least according to Business Week.

According to the magazine, Texas was one of the last states to really feel the pinch of the recession; the recession here has been relatively mild, and the Lone Star State will likely be one of the first to rebound. The magazine’s experts say that is mainly due to the fact that housing prices here didn’t spike upward like they did in many areas.

The magazine just published this list of the 40 strongest U.S. metro economies, and six Texas metropolitan areas made the list — five of them in the top 10, including the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.

No. 1 was San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas. According to Business Week, the Alamo City has one of the strongest job markets in the country, thanks in part to construction now underway on a new J.W. Marriott hotel and a new Caterpillar plant, and to ongoing school, hospital and military projects.

The Austin/Round Rock area was No. 2, on the list, followed by Oklahoma City at No. 3 and the Little Rock/Conway area at No. 4.

The Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Metroplex was at No. 5, with Baton Rouge at No. 6, Tulsa at No. 7, and Omaha/Council Bluffs at No. 8.

The Houston/Sugarland area at No. 9 and El Paso at No. 10, rounded out the top 10. I didn’t think there were any major metropolitan areas left in Texas after that list, but Business Week disagreed, putting the McAllen/Edinburg/Mission area on the list at No. 12.

So every time you sit there writing checks to pay the bills and watching your checking account balance dwindle, just remember: It could be worse. You could live in Las Vegas.рекламные буклеты ценапродвижение информационного сайта

—  admin