One dead in shooting at Oak Lawn and Lemmon

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 9.45.02 AM

(Fox 4 News)

Dallas police officers responded to a call at 5:42 a.m. at the Shell station at the corner of Oak Lawn and Lemmon Avenue on Friday.

According to a police spokesman, the first responder at the scene found a car crashed into a tree at the station and noticed the driver had a gunshot wound. He was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A police official said there are indications that the shot was fired from within the vehicle, making the driver lose control and crash. Witnesses said after the crash a black male exited the vehicle and left on foot in an unknown direction.

Police are waiting for a report from homicide.

—  David Taffet

Dallas celebrates Harvey Milk Day on Cedar Springs

About 150 people joined a Harvey Milk Day celebration that began with speakers and performers at the Legacy of Love monument on Oak Lawn and was followed by a march down Cedar Springs Road and a reception at Sue Ellen’s. The event was organized by Hope 4 Peace & Justice.

—  David Taffet

SMU vote inspires Harvey Milk Day celebration on Cedar Springs

Harvey Milk DayDallas Mayor Mike Rawlings issued a proclamation to Hope 4 Peace and Justice, naming Thursday, May 22, 2014, as Harvey Milk Day.

Harvey Milk Day Dallas organizer Todd Whitley said H4PJ was inspired to create a celebration by LGBT students at Southern Methodist University who were recently denied representation in the Student Senate.

“We’re still having this fight today? Seriously?” Whitley said. “Harvey’s message is needed now more than ever.”

He said organizers thought of the SMU students and elderly LGBT folks who have fought homophobia their entire lives.

Sammi Partida was one of the SMU students who campaigned for LGBT representation in the Student Senate. He said Harvey Milk is a voice for those who have been suppressed.

“His approach was comprehensive,” he said, covering issues from child care to affordable housing to senior citizen.

He said Milk had a passion that’s hard to match.

“When coming in as city supervisor, he knew he was putting down his life for countless people,” Partida said. “He’s so inspiring.”

Whitley said coming out saved his life.

“I was dying, unable to be the authentic me,” he said, “and doing so completely changed my life.”

Whitley agreed and said Milk’s legacy spoke to him personally.

“Gone far too soon, Harvey Milk inspired a generation to ‘bust down those closet doors’ and ‘come out,’ a vital, life-saving action it would take me 38 years to finally do myself. … That’s what his legacy is to me,” Whitley said.

Milk’s call to come out is as relevant today as it was when he was killed in 1978.

Whitley challenged straight people to honor Harvey Milk Day by coming out for equality as well.

“If you’re straight — particularly a straight Christian — and believe that LGBTQ folks are equal to you, come out so people know where you stand and can use your example to eliminate their own bigotry,” he said.

Milk has a special connection to Dallas. In 1957, he briefly lived in Dallas, according to the San Francisco library, before returning to New York. He was transferred here in 1969 by Bache & Co. where he was a securities analyst and lived at 2525 Turtle Creek Blvd. before moving to San Francisco.

In honor of Milk, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a Harvey Milk stamp Thursday.

A community celebration of Harvey Milk Day takes place at the Legacy of Love Monument on Cedar Springs Road at Oak Lawn Avenue on May 22 at 8 p.m. The celebration features speakers which include SMU student Sammi Partida and Cathedral of Hope Interim Pastor Jim Mitulski, a musical performance by Chris Chism, an excerpt of the H4PJ production Dear Harvey and a spoken word performance by local activist Meg Hargis followed by a candlelight march down Cedar Springs Road and cake and ice cream at Sue Ellen’s.

—  David Taffet

City crews work to clean up Oak Lawn


Downed trees blocked traffic on Fitzhugh Avenue

Downed trees and flashing traffic lights slowed commutes in Oak Lawn this morning after Thursday’s storm.

City crews were out working around the area after Oak Lawn received more than 3 1/2 inches of rain accompanied by winds up to 70 miles per hour. Parts of Turtle Creek Boulevard were still closed Friday because of debris blocking the road. Portions of the street flooded for a short time as the stream rose out of its banks.

—  David Taffet

That wet stuff is called rain … or who knew rivers had water in them

Some areas of the city have received three inches of rain Thursday. Turtle Creek is a low spot in Oak Lawn, so the street was flooding. I just ran out to get some shots of the creek overflowing its banks and water rushing over the falls. We haven’t seen anything like this in quite awhile.

—  David Taffet

Oak Lawn listed as 8th-best neighborhood in U.S. for millennials

3102-oak-lawn-avenue-dallas-tx-75219Niche Ink, a website dedicated to education analysis, reported Monday that Oak Lawn is the eighth-best neighborhood in the U.S. for young people to live in. The organization  put together a list of the best metro areas for millennials. They ranked the metro areas in the U.S. using a dozen factors, including data from the U.S. Census, FBI crime rates, and Niche Ink user opinions on the best places for life after graduation. They then calculated the best neighborhood for young people in each of those cities. (You can read the full methodology here.)

The report said “Oak Lawn is one of the wealthiest areas of Dallas with a lot of urban professionals, townhouses, condos, and apartments. There are a lot of good restaurants, bars, and clubs, particularly for the LGBT community. Fifteen percent of its population is aged 25 to 34, and it has a median rent of $874. The average income is $29,830.

Midtown in Houston came in at No. 21, and South River City in Austin ranked No. 2. We can live with Austin beating us out. Houston? That’s never going to happen. And the average income in Oak Lawn is $29,830? Well, I need a raise.

To see the listings, click here.

—  Steve Ramos

Organizers meet to form Oak Lawn neighborhood association

Harper.MikeSeveral weeks ago, I mentioned the lack of neighborhood associations in Oak Lawn. Dallas Councilman Philip Kingston pointed out I missed one active group in SoHiP (that’s South of Highland Park) — those several blocks between Lemmon Avenue and the Highland Park border running from Oak Lawn Avenue to the Tollway.

Another group covering a large Oak Lawn neighborhood is about to form.

The neighborhood group that opposed Dallas Housing Authority rezoning in Oak Lawn will meet on Thursday to create a neighborhood association in an area that is mostly apartments and condos.

The meeting will be held at the clubhouse at Lure Apartments, 2929 Kings Road on April 10 at 6:45 p.m. The proposed area includes all blocks from Cedar Springs Road to Maple Avenue and from Maple Springs to Wycliff and the Tollway. The Maple Springs area has its own neighborhood association.

Organizer Mike Harper invited home and condo owners as well as renters to attend and said developers and business owners are welcome as well.

Zoning issues between the DHA and the neighborhood have been resolved. See Friday’s paper for details.

—  David Taffet

Historic Oak Lawn building torn down





In a series on the changing face of Oak Lawn, we followed the story of a 1924 apartment building on Knight Street that was sold and longtime tenants evicted. On Wednesday morning, the building was torn down.

—  David Taffet

Carrollton man robbed at gunpoint on Hall Street

Screen shot 2014-01-18 at 10.31.39 AM

A 21-year-old Carrollton man told Dallas police three men robbed him Friday night at 3922 N. Hall St., taking $255 worth of property.

A 21-year-old Carrollton man told Dallas police three men robbed him at gunpoint Friday night at 3922 N. Hall St.

The police report states the victim parked his car to visit a friend in an apartment, and when he returned to the car at about 9:18 p.m., a man walked around a small partition wall, pointed an automatic black pistol at him and said, “Give me your money and anything in your pockets.”

The victim gave the man his wallet and cell phone, according to the report. Two other men then walked around the corner, and one of them, along with the first man who brandished the gun, searched the victim’s pockets while the third man acted as a look-out.

The gunman then fled south on foot, and the other two men fled west on foot.

The victim wasn’t injured during the robbery, the report states, but he said the property taken from him is worth $255.

Because the men used a gun in the robbery, the crime is listed as aggravated. The police report doesn’t provide a description of the suspects.

Other people in the Cedar Springs area also found themselves relieved of hundreds of dollars for hefty towing charges after United Towing moved their vehicles from restricted areas.

One particular spot behind the Round-Up Saloon has become a hot spot for towing. Despite a clear sign that says parking on the sidewalk is prohibited, people have continued to park in a spot that straddles the parking lot and the sidewalk.

photo 2

This area behind the Round-Up Saloon has proven to be a boon for United Towing. People continue to park in the spot beside this truck, half of it on the sidewalk, despite a warning sign.

“I was leaving the Round-Up to go home, but found that my car had been towed,” one man said. When he called United Towing, they told him it would cost $160 to get his car back.

“While I was making the call, four other people pulled into that same spot where I was towed, so I told each of them not to park there,” he said.

Each week, several cars have been towed from that spot, although United Towing declined to say how many.


—  Steve Ramos

Meetings scheduled on planned Housing Authority complex in Oak Lawn


Mike Harper at DHA site on Kings Road

Two meetings about a proposed Dallas Housing Authority project planned for Oak Lawn are scheduled.

DHA plans to build a new complex on Kings Road between Cedar Springs and Maple Avenue to replace an old property torn down two years ago, and it’s seeking a zoning variance to increase the height restriction to 65 feet and reduce parking requirements to allow almost twice as many units as the previous development.

Mike Harper, who lives near the project, organized a group called Rezoning DHA. His group would like to see adequate parking for residents and a less dense complex. Even without the modifications, this will become the housing authority’s largest project in Dallas.

“There is still a significant amount of community concern about the project as individuals want to ensure the best for the community,” Harper said.

Two meetings are scheduled on the project:

Tuesday, Jan, 28 at 6 p.m.: Community Meeting at Reverchon Park Recreation Center, 3505 Maple Ave. with Councilman Adam Medrano to hear the latest proposal from DHA. This will be an opportunity for the community to come together to decide how to respond to the final proposal from DHA.

Thursday, Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m.: City of Dallas Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing will provide time for public comment and vote on the proposal.

—  David Taffet