Best Bets • 10.28.11

Friday 10.28img_9302

She’ll folk you up
Boston folk singer Catie Curtis brings a new set of tunes to town. Promoting her latest album Stretch Limousine on Fire, Curtis says this album has pushed her to her musical boundaries. So her live show must be just as inspired.

DEETS: With Melissa Greener. Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse,
555 N. Central Expressway. 8 p.m. $15–$18.
UncleCalvins.org.

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Saturday 10.29

This Halloween is full of treats
Saturday is all about decisions and it’s like you can’t make a wrong one. If you’re handy and have a couple of 5-Hour energy drinks, you could fit in a haunted house, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas masquerade ball and of course, what’s Halloween without the block party?

DEETS: Oak Lawn Halloween 2011,
3900 Cedar Springs Road. 7 p.m.
PartyAtTheBlock.com.

Masquerade 2011. Sammons Center for the Arts,
3630 Harry Hines Blvd. 7 p.m. $25.
TWCD.org.

Screams Theme Park,
2511 FM 66, Waxahachie. 7:30 p.m. $25.
ScreamsParks.com.

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Saturday 10.29

Diablos drag you to Hell
Before the costumes and the candy hits the fan, there’s Hellfest 2011 to get through. The Dallas Diablos host the annual rugby tournament with men’s and women’s teams from all over the country competing for top honors. Teams be warned. The Diablos say “in Hellfest, no one can hear you scream.”

DEETS: Lake Highlands Park,
9500 Lake Highlands Road. Noon. 
DallasDiablos.org.

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Thursday 11.03

She can dance
Judith Jamison is kind of a big deal. She danced with Baryshnikov, won an Emmy and went from being the principal dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to being its artistic director. She appears for one night as part of the Brinker International Forum. The Kennedy Center honoree and National Medal of Arts winner likely has some great stories to tell. And we’re all ears.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House,
2403 Flora St. 8 p,m. $12.50–$125.
ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 28, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

HRC releases list of best places to work

The Human Rights Campaign released a new list this week of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.

The Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality distinction is awarded to businesses that scored 100 percent on HRC Foundation’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index. The list is larger this year than ever, although companies like Target and Best Buy that were on the list last year were removed because of political donations to anti-LGBT organizations.

The list includes a several DFW-based companies including American Airlines, Brinker International, JC Penney and Texas Instruments.

The list includes more obvious categories in service sectors like airlines, retail and hospitality but also includes several industries not seen as being in the forefront of equal rights. Waste Management Inc. of Houston is among those rated as a best place to work, as is mining and metals company Alcoa.

A new project was launched to get more Houston-based Fortune 500 companies to participate in the CEI Index. Only nine of 29 Houston-based Fortune 500 companies participate.

—  David Taffet

According to HRC, you shouldn’t be renting movies at Blockbuster or drinking Dr. Pepper

A record number of companies are rated according to their LGBT-related employment policies in this year’s Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign, which was released Monday. Unlike in previous years, HRC has issued “unofficial” ratings for companies that didn’t respond to its survey. These unofficial ratings are based on publicly available information and information submitted to HRC by unofficial LGBT employee groups or individual employees. As a result, the CEI seems to present a more accurate portrait of workplace equality, because companies that know they’ll score well are more inclined to respond to HRC’s survey, and vice versa.

In North Texas, for example, a total of five companies now receive the lowest possible score of zero from HRC, meaning they don’t provide even the most basic protections, such as a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation. North Texas-based companies that received a zero in this year’s CEI are ExxonMobil Corp. of Irving, Commercial Metals of Irving, Crosstex Energy Inc. of Dallas, Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas and Holly Corp. of Dallas.

Other notably low unofficial scores were given to Dallas-based Blockbuster (45), Plano-based Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (15)  and Fort Worth-based developer DR Horton Inc. (30).

Also of note, HRC docked Target, Best Buy and 3M 15 points each “for failing to respond to requests to take corrective actions following their sizable contributions to MN Forward, a political committee supporting the election of an anti-gay candidate for governor of Minnesota.”

Below is a full list of HRC-rated companies based in North Texas this year (companies are based in Dallas unless otherwise noted, unofficial scores shaded gray):

—  John Wright