Metro offers free bus rides on New Years Eve

Maybe there is such a thing as a free ride. Houston Metro is offering free bus and train fares starting at 6 pm New Years Eve and continuing through 6 am on New Years Day. Metro explains via press release that it “wants to help individuals celebrating the arrival of the New Year a safe option to get home rather than getting behind the wheel.”

As a bonus, the light rail is free on Sunday since it’s a game day, so if you are downtown and need to go to Reliant stadium, or at Reliant and need to go downtown, you’re set.

So when midnight rolls around on the 31st and it’s time to head home remember you have options. A DWI is a horrible way to start the new year.

—  admin

Shabby Shriek of the Week: Liz Primo

Liz Primo’s debut ‘Exposed.’ Shab or fab?

For this week’s entry of Shabby Shriek, we look to Liz Primo. Last week, I received her debut Exposed, which might have been renamed “derivative.” With her Nicki Minaj look on the cover and Katy Perry whimsical and colorful getups on the inside, I wondered if I had heard this already — you know, without having to open it and listen.

But to be fair, I did open and pop it in on the drive home. With only six songs (and one remix), I figured this would be easy to get through. By track four, I pulled out Primo and put in the infinitely better Femme Fatale by Britney Spears. Now, how often do you hear that?

So here we go:

—  Rich Lopez

Coincidence or pattern? Another trans-related shooting in D.C.

Just two weeks after trans woman Lashai Mclean was shot and killed in northeast Washington, D.C., another trans-related shooting happened Sunday, July 31 near the same location, according to this report in the Metro Weekly.

Lashai Mclean

Tonya Harrell, also a trans woman, was shot at by a “black male, 17-19 years old,” but was uninjured.

The suspect approached Harrell on the street at approximately 2:45 a.m. Sunday and demanded change, according to police reports. Police reports say that without waiting for her to reply, the man shot at her with a semi-automatic handgun. Fortunately, the suspect missed and Harrell was not injured.

”Both cases involved transgender victims,” according to the MPD press release referenced by the Metro Weekly report, referring to the murder of Mclean and the attack on McLean. “Due to the similarities of the victims’ sexual self-identification, M.O., locations, and lookout for suspects, the cases are being investigated as a potential emerging pattern.”

The MPD press release adds that the Sixth District is working with the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, as well as Transgender Health Empowerment (THE) and the Prince George’s County Police Department to ”enhance patrol efforts in the area” where the near-identical shootings happened.

The suspects in Mclean’s murder were described as “two black males,” who remain at large. Could this be a pattern of hate crimes or just an unfortunate coincidence?

MPD Deputy Chief Diane Groomes said that while she can’t confirm the shooting is related to the July 20 killing of Mclean, the circumstances are ”identical.”

—  admin

Vernon Franko criticizes James Nowlin for criticizing Angela Hunt in District 14

Angela Hunt

It’s not every day that one candidate in a race criticizes a second candidate for attacking a third candidate. But that’s exactly what happened tonight in the District 14 Dallas City Council race, when challenger Vernon Franko sent out a press release criticizing fellow challenger James Nowlin for criticizing incumbent Angela Hunt.

Franko’s press release comes in response to an email sent out by Nowlin’s campaign on Saturday night touting his fundraising lead in the race. The headline of Nowlin’s email read, “Nowlin surges ahead, Hunt a celebrity not a servant.”

“The incumbent is more focused on being a celebrity than a servant and District 14 has taken notice,” Nowlin’s email stated. “Ms. Hunt tried to run for Mayor and failed at that. Now, she is using the 14th District as her backup political plan and that’s unfair to our great city and our district.”

The Nowlin email went on to criticize Hunt, whom it called “entrenched,” for voting in favor of a tax increase. The email also alleged that Hunt is ineffective because others on the council are “openly hostile” to her ideas.

“District 14 lags in consensus-building and suffers for Hunt’s arrogance,” the Nowlin email said.

And apparently that upset Franko, who sent out a press release tonight under the headline, “City Council Candidate Vernon Franko Condemns Email Attack Ad by Candidate James Nowlin as Embarrassing and Immature.”

—  John Wright

The newly opened Fin Sushi Lounge at ilume will henceforth be known as Axiom Sushi Lounge

It’s only been open a few months, but Fin Sushi Lounge at ilume on Cedar Springs is already changing its name.

The owners of the restaurant say it will henceforth be known as Axiom Sushi Lounge, and the rebranding will be complete by May 1. The new name better aligns the restaurant with the Sushi Axiom brand, according to a press release. Sushi Axiom has four other restaurants in Burleson, Dallas and Fort Worth.

“Fin Sushi Lounge name was originally chosen to reflect the unique concept the company developed in Dallas but it was a source of confusion with longtime customers from our other locations,” said Christine Buczek, general manager of Axiom Sushi Lounge. “The new Axiom Sushi Lounge name eliminates that confusion and better leverages the strong reputation and customer satisfaction associated with Sushi Axiom brand.”

—  John Wright

Uh, no … this doesn’t really interest me …

This is the intro to a press release I just received. What amazes me is how unamazing this disclosure is… doesn’t everybody?

What do celebrities Kim Kardashian, Matthew McConaughey, Nicolas Cage and Raquel Welch all have in common? They all have either recently purchased or are selling their homes — and each of their homes have wood flooring. If this is something that is of interest to you, the full press release is below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Fears For Queers 2 Film Festival announces date and is now open to submissions


Today we received the press release announcing the second Fears for Queers film fest. Last year, the event kind of took us by surprise, but we’re on it now. Local filmmaker Shawn Ewert and his production company Right Left Turn Productions have been keeping us in the loop as the event nears.

But first, they need more films and the call for submissions has officially been placed. Any budding or established LGBT filmmakers are encouraged to submit their short and feature films for inclusion. And there’s no cost to submit. Score!

Click the thumbnail to read the official press release. Fears for Queers is also presented by DOA Blood Bath Entertainment and is scheduled for June 25 at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. Proceeds from the event will benefit Youth First Texas.

 

—  Rich Lopez

What’s Brewing: Westboro Baptist edition

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A group of hackers known as Anonymous threatens to destroy websites belonging to the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church if the church doesn’t end its protests in 2011.

2. The church responds by telling the “anonymous crybaby hackers” to “Bring It.”(Flier above.)

3. It turns out the church actually made up the whole thing as a publicity stunt. (Press release below.)

—  John Wright

Villarreal files Texas ENDA bill

State Rep. Mike Villarreal

Texas state Rep. Mike Villarreal, a Democrat from San Antonio, today announced that he has filed HB 665, which would prevent employment discrimination in Texas based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

According to a statement e-mailed by Villarreal’s office, HB 665 would “end a discriminatory atmosphere that drives away well-educated professionals that would otherwise benefit the Texas economy.” Villarreal said: “Many other states and several large Texas cities have protections against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s time for Texas to join in stopping unfair employment practices that hurt our economy and hard-working Texans.”

According to the press release, Villarreal has filed similar legislation in both of the last two sessions of the Texas Legislature.

HB 665 was filed on Jan. 14.

—  admin

Concert Notice: Katy Perry brings her ‘Teenage Dream’ to Verizon Theatre in July

True fans of Katy Perry probably got this word first. The pop singer announced on Facebook that she’ll be on the road with her California Dreams 2011 world tour. The tour itself is sounding pretty interactive. The press release says the following:

Katy is planning on interacting with fans through social media networks throughout the California Dreams tour. Using Facebook Places/Deals, fans will be able to check into the venues each night to receive special treats. Fans will also be able to submit their own photos of the show via Twitter which will be incorporated into the live show and also live on her website.

That’ sounds like a whole lotta work. Can’t we just go see the show?

Whilst touring, the release says Perry is about to release “E.T.,” as the album’s fourth single and begin shooting the video.

She’s scheduled to play North Texas at the Verizon Theatre on July 28. Take a look at her here from her performance in Dallas as part of the 2008 Vans Warped Tour.

—  Rich Lopez