Mike Rawlings will run for re-election as mayor in 2015

Rawlings

Mayor Mike Rawlings

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings confirmed today (Tuesday, Dec. 2) that he will run for re-election next May, telling Dallas Morning News that he still has some “big bold goals” left to accomplish.

In the campaign leading up to his first election as Dallas mayor in 2011, Rawlings courted the LGBT vote. But he drew the community’s ire, beginning in early 2012, when he repeatedly refused to sign a pledge in support of marriage equality and in 2013 refused to support a council resolution supporting marriage equality. At the time, he called the resolution a misuse of the council’s time and blocked it from being placed on the council agenda.

But Rawlings reversed that stance this year, voting in May, along with 12 other council members, to pass a resolution that was “a comprehensive statement of support” that directs city staff to evaluate and fix the inequities for LGBT employees in city employment.

Rawlings, 60, is also the former CEO of Pizza Hut and a former chief executive of the Tracy-Locke ad agency, and a vocal supporter of efforts to end domestic violence.

—  Tammye Nash

2014 Black Tie Dinner: The Night in Photos

The Sheraton Dallas hotel was wall-to-wall Saturday night for the 33rd annual Black Tie Dinner, which raised funds for local beneficiaries and the Human Rights Campaign.

The event featured the presentation of the Kuchling Humanitarian Award to Mike Anglin, the Black Tie Media Award to Dale Hansen and the Elizabeth Birch Equality Award to attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, along with special appearances by NBA star Jason Collins and the Prop 8 plaintiffs.

Comedienne Dana Goldberg emcees the evening, which also featured entertainment by Alex Newell and Steve Grand.

Dallas Voice photographer Cassie Quinn captured the evening in photos:

—  Tammye Nash

Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth top Texas cities in HRC Municipal Equality Index

MEI-2014-map-650x375The Human Rights Campaign released its third annual Municipal Equality Index today (Wednesday, Nov. 12) assessing LGBT equality in 353 cities across the nation, including 22 in Texas, according to a press release from HRC.

The MEI, the only nationwide rating system of LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy, assesses cities on a one to 100 scale.

The average score for the 22 Texas cities is 28 out of 100 points, far below the national average of 59. Only Austin achieved a perfect 100 score. Dallas came in second with 91 points and Fort Worth third with 83 points.

San Antonio, El Paso and Houston earned scores of 72, 52 and 54 respectively, the only other cities to score more than 50 points.

Other surveyed Texas cities included Amarillo: 14,  Brownsville: 20, Corpus Christi: 16, Killeen: 10, Laredo: 2, Lubbock: 0, McAllen: 0, Pasadena: 10, Waco: 24.

The MEI rates cities based on 47 criteria falling under six broad categories: Non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage, contracting non-discrimination requirements, and other policies relating to equal treatment of LGBT city employees, inclusiveness of city services, fair law enforcement practices and leadership on matters of equality.

Check out the full list here and this week’s edition of the Voice for comments from local leaders.

—  James Russell

Body found near Cedar Springs Road

CrimeTapeSmallA body was found near Cedar Springs Road and Turtle Creek Boulevard at about 10 a.m. today, Nov. 3. There’s no report yet if the death is being investigated as a homicide. As of 3 p.m., police were describing the death as “unexplained.”

Dallas Voice will update this post as more information becomes available.

Police report:

On Monday, November 3, 2014 at about 10:07 a.m. officers received a call from Dallas Fire and Rescue regarding a person deceased and in the creek located at 2800 Turtle Creek Boulevard. The body of an unidentified white male has been recovered. The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information at this time.

—  David Taffet

It’s almost Halloween; if you aren’t a Lost Soul yet, it’s never too late to become one

IMG_8625Voted  Best LGBT Sports Team in Dallas in the Dallas Voice’s Readers Voice Awards, the Lost Souls Rugby Football Club is not only a hard-hitting, scrum-loving team that loves to ruck, but also a fraternity of men who are dedicated to community service. Rugby, a fast growing sport in the U.S., is called a “hooligan’s sport played by gentlemen.” If you have ever seen the Lost Souls on the pitch (field), you will know the hooligan part is true. It’s after the game at the third half and serving our community when you discover the other description fits them as well.

The Lost Souls Rugby Football Club is a 501c3 not for profit, sponsored by Hank Henley Photography and The Round-Up Saloon. The team has just completed their second annual school supply drive, benefitting Mi Escuelita Preschool and gathered in twice as many donations as last year.

Each year, the Lost Souls run a very successful toy drive for Children’s Medical Center, as well as volunteering to serve at the Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the Resource Center. The Club’s can goods drive also benefits the Resource center at the same time of the year. And it doesn’t stop there! They volunteer at various events in Dallas to help where they can: Texas Bear Round Up, the Gay Softball World Series and more.

The Lost Souls is an all-inclusive rugby football team, teaching the sport of rugby, the value of integrity and the spirit of camaraderie, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter who you are or how you define yourself. All that matters in sport is your ability, attitude and effort. Rugby is a wonderful, unifying glorifying sport.

If you are interested in playing, supporting or just watching the Lost Souls, find all the information about them on their Facebook page, Lost Souls Rugby Football Club or their website, LostSoulsRFC.orgFor more information or content for this article submission, please contact the Club’s president, David Whitehead at jdkwhitehead@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Time to destroy another landmark in Dallas

Cabana Hotel

Cabana Motor Hotel as seen from Dallas Voice office

The old Cabana Motor Hotel on Stemmons Freeway just outside of downtown Dallas is on the verge of being sold and redeveloped.

The property was purchased by Dallas County in 1985 and was used as a jail until 2009.

The property has a storied history. In 1962, Jay Sarno, who developed Ceasar’s Palace and Circus Circus in Las Vegas, built the Cabana and the hotel was owned by Doris Day.

In 1964, the Beatles stayed here on their first North American tour. During the 1960s and early ’70s, it was the place for touring rock acts to stay, including Jimi Hendrix, The Dave Clark Five, Led Zeppelin and The Monkees.

Raquel Welch worked here as a cocktail waitress while modeling for Neiman Marcus.

The hotel is not a registered landmark. The county is negotiating with Lincoln Property Company for its sale, according to the Dallas Morning News.

—  David Taffet

Sam Smith performs at House of Blues (Get ready for Erasure)

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Openly gay performer Sam Smith packed the house at House of Blues in Dallas on Thursday night, and Dallas Voice ad rep/photographer to the stars Chad Mantooth was on hand to get these fabulous shots.

Erasure brings their Violet Flame Tour to House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., in Dallas next Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 14-15. Tickets range from $39.50-$85.

 

 

—  Tammye Nash

Mass hysteria from media at Ebola press conference

Ebola

Dallas Councilwoman Jennifer Gates, left, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, center, and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins were on hand Thursday to answer questions from the press regarding Ebola in Dallas.

“Reporters can be part of the problem or part of the solution,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said during a press conference on the Ebola virus today (Thursday, Oct. 2) at Dallas County Commissioners Court.

Judging by the questions, the members of the press gathered for the press conference are determined to be part of the problem when it comes to spreading panic and misinformation.

First, the foremost expert on Ebola in this country who has experience treating the disease in Africa is in Dallas working at Presbyterian Hospital.

Second, 10 people from the Centers for Disease Control are in Dallas. Half are working in the community and half in the hospital doing “tracing.” Their job is to trace contact between Mr. Duncan, the Ebola patient at the hospital, and people he was in contact with.

During the press conference, Rawlings indicated that members of the media are paying residents of Duncan’s apartment complex to live in their apartments so they can be first there if someone else in the household gets sick.

Idiotic questions from the media included asking Dallas Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson what protective gear he was wearing when he visited with Duncan’s family. Thompson tried to explain that no one in the family is showing any symptoms and therefore no one in the family is contagious, even if they have been exposed to Ebola and come down with the illness later.

Ebola has a two-to-21 day incubation period. When the patient is not showing symptoms, the virus can’t be transmitted.

County Judge Clay Jenkins explained Duncan’s apartment has been cleaned by a company that sanitizes hospitals and has experience working with blood infected with HIV. That seemed to go over the heads of most of the reporters at the press conference as well.

Another reporter wanted to know what hospital would take the next Ebola patient. Jenkins said all hospitals in Dallas have been working to prepare to take another Ebola patient but that didn’t satisfy Dallas media. Why wait til the last minute? Why don’t you know?

Jenkins tried to explain that in all probability, the patient would be taken to Presby, but if a patient walked into Parkland or another hospital those hospitals are prepared, too.

The patient would probably go to Presbyterian because that’s the hospital closest to Duncan’s family’s apartment. And Ebola isn’t going to suddenly show up in Oak Cliff. The virus doesn’t spread that way. It takes direct contact with bodily fluids from someone showing symptoms.

But no one in Dallas media would listen to that. They shouted down Thompson and Jenkins, with the county judge ending the press conference by explaining he had other meetings to get to. He had a job to do.

“We have a job to do too,” shouted one female reporter — I couldn’t see who she was or what station she was with.

She’d do her job better if she stopped panicking and looked up how Ebola spreads.

Brace yourselves for tonight’s coverage on the news. It’s going to make Dallas look like the entire city is in mass hysteria.

—  David Taffet

2nd West Nile case confirmed in Dallas

Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed a second case of West Nile Virus in a human in the city for the 2014 season. City officials are not released the patient’s name, for privacy reasons, but did say that the person lived in the 75238 zip code.Mosquito_rdax_400x277

The 75238 zip code area is in the northeast part of Dallas, bordered primarily by East Northwest Highway, Skillman Street, Forest Lane and Jupiter Road.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been 15 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in humans this year. Of those, eight have been West Nile fever, and seven have been the more severe West Nile neuroinvasive disease. Both of the Dallas County cases have been West Nile fever.

There has been one confirmed case of West Nile fever this year in each of the following counties: Brazoria, Ellis, Parker, Tarrant and Travis. Both Galeveston County and Liberty County have confirmed one case each of neuroinvasive West Nile.

Montgomery County, north of Houston and just west of Lake Conroe, has confirmed five cases of neuroinvasive West Nile and one case of West Nile fever this year.

DSHS recorded 183 human cases of West Nile Virus last year. Of those, 113 were the more severe neuroinvasive West Nile. The virus killed 14 people in Texas in 2013.

The city of Dallas protocol calls for targeted ground spraying in areas where West Nile has been confirmed in mosquitoes and in areas where trapping has indicated a significant increase in the number of mosquitoes with the potential to carry the virus.

City officials said that existing traps near where the infected person lives have not tested positive for West Nile. Still, they said, the city will expand surveillance and place an additional trap near the location in an effort to get more information.

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75238 Zip Code

According to a press release from the city: “The city’s mosquito control program is continually evolving to address the threat of the West Nile Virus. Public information and outreach is extensive, using television, radio, billboards, brochures and community meetings. A webpage at www.dallascityhall.com is dedicated to WNV information, including links to videos developed to educate the public on WNV prevention.

“Additionally, the city is proactively identifying sources of mosquito breeding by responding to 3-1-1 standing water, stagnant pools and water conservation complaints. However, it is important that residents do their part by taking the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the virus.”

The best defense against contracting West Nile is not get bitten by a mosquito. And city and state health officials urge everyone to reduce outdoor activity during the evening and nighttime hours, and when you are outside, cover your arms and legs and use a mosquito repellent.

The best way to keep from getting bitten by a mosquito is to keep the little buggers from breeding in the first place. Get rid of standing water in places like dirty swimming pools, stagnant ponds, pet watering dishes, birdbaths, potted plants, old tires, empty containers, toys and clogged rain gutters and French drains. Get rid of the standing water and do it fast, because mosquitoes can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days.

If you see standing water that you are unable to get rid of yourself , call 3-1-1 to report it to city officials. For more information on mosquito control, visit www.dallascityhall.com.

 

—  Tammye Nash

Wendy Davis works the phones, rallies supporters

LGBT activist Patti Fink was among the Dallas area Democrats who turned out Monday night for a rally for Wendy Davis and a phone bank for the Democratic slate of candidates. She graciously shared some of her photos with Dallas Voice.

—  Tammye Nash