Local Briefs

CCGLA surveys candidates, sets meet-and-greet events

As municipal elections approach, the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance has sent an online survey to city council, school board and mayoral candidates in Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, and “meet-and-greet” sessions for candidates are planned in Frisco, Plano and McKinney in April.

The organization will also create and distribute a voters’ guide.

The Plano “meet-and-greet” will be held on Friday, April 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at a private residence. For more information, go online to CCGLA.org.

Results of CCGLA’s candidate surveys will be posted on the CCGLA website prior to each event. The events are informal, non-partisan, and all candidates are invited.

Oak Cliff Earth Day to feature vendors, info booths and more

Oak Cliff Earth Day, which has become the largest all-volunteer-run Earth Day since it started five years ago, will be held on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Cliff Park, located at the intersection of Colorado Street and Zang Boulevard in Oak Cliff.

There is no charge to attend the event, which will include art, food, plants and other environmentally-friendly products available for purchase.

There will also be educational booths on topics such as how to save energy and clean up the environment, along with locally-grown honey, animals to adopt and native plants for gardens.

Parking at the park is limited, however, free parking is available at Methodist Hospital, in Lot 10 only, located at 1400 S. Beckley Ave. across from the hospital entrance on Beckley Ave. Methodist Hospital is providing a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the event.

Participants are also encouraged to take DART to the event or walk or ride a bicycle. There are a number of bike racks, funded by Oak Cliff Earth Day, at the park.

Mayoral candidates to speak Sunday on animal issues in Dallas

Dallas’ mayoral candidates will participate in a forum on animal issues in the city of Dallas on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Central Dallas Library, 1515 Young St., in downtown Dallas. The Metroplex Animal Coalition is sponsoring the forum, with is free and open to the public. Journalist Larry Powell with Urban Animal magazine will moderate.

The mayoral candidates are former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, Councilman Ron Natinsky, real estate consultant Edward Okpa and Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO and Dallas homeless czar.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Dallas' next police chief?

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo

Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle announced last November that he would be retiring from office, effective at the end of April this year (just a little more than a month away).

City officials have narrowed the field of applicants down to six finalists, announced Monday, March 8, and one of the six is Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. Considering the recent controversy over police interaction with LGBT community Fort Worth, and the recent appointment of Officer Laura Martin as full-time LGBT liaison for the Dallas Police Department, I am sure people are wondering about the prospective DPD chiefs’ records on LGBT issues.

This article in today’s Austin American-Statesman, posted online at Statesman.com, doesn’t give any clear answers to that question, but it does perhaps over a tiny bit of insight.

The article focuses mainly on what is described as a rather curt e-mail that Acevedo inadvertently sent to Austin City Councilwoman Laura Morrison regarding APD’s investigation into a recent anti-gay hate crime near a downtown Austin gay bar.

Morrison’s aide had sent an e-mail to a PD employee asking if investigators had gotten the right video surveillance footage of the area, because an earlier e-mail from the PD employee to the aide had, due to a typo, had the wrong date on the footage gathered. Acevedo had responded with an e-mail Morrison characterized as “somewhat dismissive.”

Acevedo said he had not intended the e-mail for Morrison and that he was just telling his employee the confusion had been cleared up and the proper footage obtained when he wrote that “no further action” was necessary.

Morrison — who does credit Acevedo with implementing a number of reforms in the department — said she and Acevedo had disagreed last month over how and when the police department should respond to community concerns over the attack on two gay men. She also noted that Acevedo had declined her invitation to speak at a press conference regarding the attack.

Acevedo said he didn’t attend that press conference because of the timing of the event: It was scheduled for a day that had already been set aside to honor emergency workers who had responded on Feb. 18 after a disgruntled taxpayer flew his airplane into an Austin building housing IRS offices. And, Acevedo pointed out, he was already scheduled to attend an anti-hate rally at City Hall two days after Morrison’s press conference, and that his speech at that rally “drew thunderous applause.”

—  admin