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

Photo: Crocheted Wall Street Bull

Bull 

Before the blizzard hit this week, NYC street artist Crocheted Olek hit Wall Street with her most recent stealth art piece. I've posted her work before (see here) but it seems to be getting a bit more monumental.

Olek (whose real name is Agata Olek) crocheted a coat around the famous Wall Street bull, which lasted for about two hours, she says.

Olek writes: "It was truly a year of guerrilla actions that opened a new path in my crocheted investigations.
I started it with a bike and ended up with the Charging Bull as a Christmas gift to NYC and a tribute to the sculptor of the bull, Arturo di Modica, who in another guerrilla act, placed the bull on Wall Street in Christmas of 1987 as a symbol of the 'strength and power of the American people' following the 1987 Stock Market crash."

Bull2

(images via animal and agata olek)


Towleroad News #gay

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Miracle on 22nd Street

Chelsea ChristmasWatch an amazing story about a gay couple in Chelsea who is flooded with letters to Santa.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Miracle On 22nd Street

What happens when a gay couple in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood mysteriously get hundreds of letters to Santa addressed to their apartment? Watch the clip and then read Father Tony’s excellent follow-up interview.

Joe. My. God.

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SAN FRANCISCO: Street Preachers Perform Exorcism On Transgender Woman

Blowing horns and screaming over a public address system, a group of Move Of God street preachers descended on a transgender woman to “lay on hands” and perform an exorcism. They announce on YouTube: “Believed he was a woman for 20 years. In fifteen minutes he is totally set free.” Based on this clip, it appears their hapless victim is either drunk or mentally ill.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

42nd Street: Then & Now

The New York Times says that with this week’s opening of a new 40-story tower at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, the 30-year remodel of Times Square is finally over.

The plan, to radically make over 13 acres, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, primarily fronting 42nd Street, outlived three mayors, four governors, two real estate booms and two recessions. It faced widespread derision in the beginning from jaded New Yorkers who were wise to grand plans. It faces occasional derision today from New Yorkers who speak of the old Times Square with newfound fondness. It embodied both the hubris of urban master planning and its possibilities, and showed the value of ripping up blueprints and starting over in midstream. And it has been a touchstone experience for a city that is now building, or trying to build, several multibillion-dollar projects, including ground zero, the Atlantic Yards, Willets Point and the Hudson Yards. “So often, people say New York can’t build large-scale projects anymore,” said Lynne B. Sagalynn, a professor of real estate finance at Columbia University and the author of “Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon.” But, Professor Sagalynn said, “Times Square is an example of how a city was able to think on a grand scale and carry it out.”

There’s a cool interactive slideshow thingy in the above-linked story.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

NEW YORK CITY: Cops Bust Heroin Dealers Via Google Street View

Brooklyn detectives were able to identify some local heroin dealers thanks to images captured on Google Street View, where multiple photos showed the group working the corner. Also, do dealers really still use that hanging shoes bit?

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Has This Season Of Sesame Street Become Gay-Friendly?

Berternie
The LA Times today published an interesting article on the seemingly more gay-friendly attitude of this season of Sesame Street. While a Sesame Street spokeswoman says that "the idea that anyone would interpret [this season] that way never crossed our minds," apparently some viewers think otherwise. 

From the LA Times article:

In its own subtle, perhaps unintentional way, the show's latest season feels more LGBT-friendly than ever. Lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes appeared on the show in October, following in the tradition of openly gay guest stars such as Neil Patrick Harris, who played ( cough, cough) "the shoe fairy" a few seasons back. A parody of "True Blood" — the HBO vampire drama that features several gay characters and draws many gay fans — aired in September. Recently, the Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am appeared on the show to sing "What I Am," a song about accepting who you really are, prompting much online debate about its underlying message. "Did Will.i.am just sing the next gay pride anthem on Sesame Street?" one commenter on AfterElton.com asked.

GLAAD weighs in on the discussion:

For Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), "Sesame Street" is simply reflecting its changing audience. "As more and more loving and committed gay and lesbian couples begin families, it's important that their children see representations of their families on their favorite shows," he says. "'Sesame Street' has a long history of teaching children about diversity and acceptance, and I don't expect that our community will be left out of that education.

The piece also makes note of this summer's cryptic "mo" tweet from Bert (did he or did he not come out?).

Watch the Will.i.am song and True Blood parody called true Mud, AFTER THE JUMP.



Towleroad News #gay

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Even the Wall Street Journal supports repeal of DADT

Yes, we’re linking to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal. Even the notoriously conservative editorial page of that paper supports repealing DADT. It’s sub. req., but here’s an excerpt:

For a more sober view of the subject, turn to Dennis Laich, a self-described “old, bald, straight guy.” Mr. Laich has none of the glamour of Lady Gaga, but on this subject he has one valuable credential: He retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 after a 35-year career in the reserves that began in field artillery, included tours of duty in Honduras, Germany, the Netherlands, Kuwait and Iraq, and culminated in a command position at Ft. Devens as a Major General. Unlike Adm. Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman who has also expressed reservations about the policy, he has no liberal political masters to please. But he still thinks DADT is nuts.

The strength of the general’s case is that it’s not about “rights,” gay or otherwise, much less whatever Lady Gaga happens to think is in the Constitution. It’s about the interests of the military itself, starting with its values. “If you talk to most theologians, ethicists or philosophers, they’ll tell you there are two kinds of lies, of commission or omission,” he says. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell represents a lie of omission that is inconsistent with the values of a military organization that presents itself as values-based.”

And the conclusion:

In the meantime, it’s worth noting that there are an estimated 48,000 homosexuals on active duty or the reserves, many of them in critical occupations, many with distinguished service records. If they pose any risk at all to America’s security, it is, paradoxically, because DADT institutionalizes dishonesty, puts them at risk of blackmail, and forces fellow warfighters who may know about their orientation to make an invidious choice between comradeship and the law. That’s no way to run a military.

Republican senators are now bellyaching that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid intends to jam the repeal amendment into a bill they have no real choice but to vote for. They should be silently thanking him. He’s giving them the chance to do the right thing while blaming the Democrats for it. It’s a GOP twofer, plus a vote they’ll someday be proud of.

Yes, even the WSJ. I know SLDN worked hard on this editorial. In fact, the above-mentioned Dennis Laich serves on the SLDN Military Advisory Council.

This is such a no-brainer, it hurts.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Just In Case You Lose Your Way From the Gayborhood, These Street Signs Will Guide You Back

Gay Street in New York City might be the most obvious marker of the West Village's homosexual roots (you know, besides Pieces bar), but now Ottawa's gayborhood wants in on the fun. So they're erecting street signs reading "The/Le Village" so gay bashers know exactly where to hang out. Which I find to be quite a gesture from the town gays, because gay bashers are stupid.


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Queerty

—  John Wright