Today’s downpour is brought to you by the letter F

Pictures of Turtle Creek across the street from Dallas Voice office. The creek crosses I-35 underground and is usually just a trickle and sometimes dry. When it’s flowing, it meanders past our office, past Mama’s Daughter’s Diner, and around the back of the Anatole Hotel before emptying into the Mighty Trin somewhere near Sylvan Avenue. To get the pics of the Trinity, we walked across an empty lot, up a very muddy embankment and up the levee. The water, this morning, is as high as I’ve seen it since the flooding began.

—  David Taffet

Narvaez sworn in for 6 year term on Dallas County Schools Board

Narvaez sworn in

Dallas School Board Trustee Omar Narvaez, left, was sworn in by Judge Ken Molberg on May 20.

Judge Ken Molberg swore in Omar Narvaez for a six-year term on the Dallas County School Board. Narvaez was appointed to fill a vacancy last year and was elected to his first full term.

Narvaez’s name was to appear on the May municipal ballot, but he and board chair Larry Duncan were unopposed. Rather than expend almost $1 million in county schools funds, Narvaez and Duncan were declared the winners in their races. Both were sworn in at the regular monthly meeting on May 20.

—  David Taffet

Legacy’s Master Leasing needs sheets

Melissa Grove

Legacy Counseling Center’s glamorous Melissa Grove … because I didn’t have a picture of Larry to post

Legacy Counseling Center needs new and gently used full-sized sheets and bedding for its clients in its Master Leasing Program.

The program began about a year-and-a-half ago. About 24 apartments in Oak Cliff’s Oak Park Estates neighborhood were renovated and decorated with donations from the community to house people with HIV/AIDS who were homeless.

Residents who participate develop a one-year plan to get back on their feet, but having a place to live gives them the stability to do that. A number of residents who have participated in the plan have graduated out of the program.

Contact Larry by email or at 214-244-2240 to donate sheets or find out what else the program needs.

—  David Taffet

Start building the toll road now

We think building the toll road is a great idea and construction should begin now — as in today, before the flooding in the floodway where the road will go gets any worse.

Here are some pictures taken over the weekend along the proposed toll road route. We agree with Councilman Adam Medrano that the trees that are slowing down the flow of river should be kept in place to slow down the water as it cascades down the toll road.

—  David Taffet

Nebraska judge throws God’s lawsuit out of court

Screen shot 2015-05-06 at 10.05.40 AMA Nebraska federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against “Homosexuals” on the grounds that the woman filing the suit was not God’s spokesman.

Sylvia Ann Driskell claimed to be the “Ambassador for Plaintiff’s God, and His, Son, Jesus Christ.”

Although she claimed in her suit that gays were violating God’s law, she filed under the Civil Rights Act, a U.S. law, that gays were violating her rights.

No word on Driskell’s reaction to finding out that she’s not God’s spokeswoman.

 

 

—  David Taffet

Cuba and other places making bigger strides than Texas on marriage equality

Castro.Mariela.2010

Mariela Castro

Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, will hold a “mass gay wedding” as part of the island country’s LGBT Pride celebration,s as a way to draw attention to the lack of legal protections for same-sex couples and transgender Cubans, according to Reuters.

Castro told Reuters, “We can’t do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders. In the future we’ll see what more we can do.”

CYPRUS

The cabinet of Cyprus has approved a “civil partnership bill” that allows same-sex couples to register their relationships with the government, granting all the same benefits of full marriage, except for “joint adoption.” The bill now heads to parliament, where the body can deliberate and put the legislation to a vote, according to Gay Star News.

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled that all professional associations must treat same-sex spouses the same as they would treat opposite-sex couples. The ruling comes after a lawsuit was filed against the Costa Rican Doctors and Surgeons Association, which refused to extend membership benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian members.

Gay Star News notes that earlier this week, President Luis Guillermo urged lawmakers in Costa Rica to pass a new bill that would extend civil unions to same-sex couples, saying that doing so is an “ethical and moral obligation” to the country.

—  David Taffet

Parkland opens new community clinic along the Green Line

ParklandThe easiest way to access care at Parkland is to visit one of its 12 community health clinics.

The newest Community Oriented Primary Care location will be dedicated today (Thursday, May 7) and open on May 19.

Hatcher Station Health Center at 4600 Scyene Road is probably the easiest COPC to reach, located across the street from DART’s Hatcher Station on the Green Line, two stops past Fair Park. Parking at the clinic is free.

The 43,000-square-feet, one-story health center’s services will include adult, pediatric, geriatric, behavioral health, financial counseling, pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services, among others.

—  David Taffet

Video game ‘Kill the Gays’ created by self-proclaimed ‘Christians’

Kill the FaggotsA so-called Christian game developer has created a game called Kill the Faggots.

Here’s the game description:

“Hate gays? Want to unleash your frustration with the ‘LGBT’ community? Well now is your chance.

“Murder gays and transgenders [sic] while avoiding killing straight people. Get points before time runs out.”

The directions are in the photo above.

The game was created by Skaldic Games, “an independent game studio that strives to bring unique game and app ideas to life since 2012.” Skaldic Games is based in Los Angeles, according to their website.

Their game was uploaded to Steam Greenlight, an online gaming community where developers can test its new products. Steam pulled the game off its site after complaints and said it didn’t vet games before they were uploaded to the site.

Skaldic said an apology wasn’t going to happen. They were going for outrage and attacking political correctness. Their next game, they promise, will be more offensive.

Maybe even reporting on this just gives these creeps the publicity they were going for.

—  David Taffet

GEAR holds annual awards ceremony

National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling spoke at the annual GEAR awards on Saturday, May 2.

Awards given during the evening were:

Blair High: Lifetime Achievement Award

High recently stepped down from a leadership position. Four people are now covering her work. The award now has been renamed for High.

Nell Gaither: Katherine Walton Service Award

Gaither created and runs Trans Pride Initiative.

Rebecca Orr: Ally Award

Orr is a clinical social worker who donates quite a bit of her time and services to GEAR members.

Terry Allen: Trailblazer Award

This first-time award was given to Allen for his work starting the GEAR men’s group.

—  David Taffet

Emails show Griggs found design flaws in Dream Team Trinity plan

Pending felony charges against Dallas Councilman Scott Griggs stem from allegations that he threatened a city employee over releasing emails concerning the proposed Trinity toll road project and timely posting of the city council agenda. Attorneys for Griggs said this weekend that the pending charges are politically motivated because of Griggs’ opposition to the toll road.

Dallas Assistant City Manager A.C. Gonzalez released this written statement concerning the situation:

“The Dallas Police Department has conducted an investigation into allegations that Dallas City Councilmember Scott Griggs improperly influenced or attempted to influence Assistant City Secretary Bilirae Johnson in the performance of her official duties.

“After concluding the investigation, Chief David Brown believes that the nature of these allegations warrants further action, and has referred all testimony and other evidence to a Dallas County Grand Jury.

“Any allegations of this nature are taken seriously at the city of Dallas, and I want all city employees to know that their safety and security is my highest priority. I have the utmost confidence in Chief Brown and the Dallas Police Department and the manner in which they have handled this investigation. Because the matter is now in the hands of the Grand Jury, it is inappropriate for me to comment any further at this time.”

Chief Brown released this statement: “Due to the serious nature of the allegation, the testimony provided, and the fact that the alleged victim and witnesses work for the Mayor and City Council, the investigation of Councilmember Scott Griggs was referred to the Dallas County Grand Jury to ensure an independent and impartial review.”

A statement from the police department noted that on Friday, May 1, “Dallas Police Department submitted a grand jury referral regarding the criminal offense of coercion of public servant, felony 3, identifying Councilmember Scott Griggs as the suspect. It is alleged that Councilmember Griggs influenced or attempted to influence Assistant City Secretary Bilirae Johnson in the performance of her official duties.”

Griggs’ attorney supplied Dallas Voice with copies of some of the emails eventually released to Griggs, which they say back up the councilman’s claim that design flaws make the so-called “Dream Team” proposal for the road dangerous.

Here’s one email released to Dallas Voice:

“The SARS team raised the concern of differential settlement in the main lanes of the parkway as a result of the current cross sections, see attached. The parkway geotechnical report specifically identified settlement as an issue for parkway construction. At the time of ultimate construction it is felt that if the Lake Project progresses with the current proposed cross sections, uneven settlement would most likely lead to undesirable longitudinal cracking in the area where the parkway main lanes are over new fill placed over and next to lake fill. NTTA’s consultant concurs with this assessment.”

More than 100 people attended an impromptu rally held to support Griggs on Saturday, May 2 at City Hall Plaza.

—  David Taffet