DART chair gets request for partner benefits at Orange Line opening parade

Fence is between the tracks rather than outside the tracks, yet using DART’s wide new sidewalk in Irving is illegal

Rafael McDonnell, Resource Center Dallas’ communications and advocacy manager, approached DART board chair John Carter Danish to talk about adding domestic partner benefits including insurance coverage after the Orange Line opening parade on July 28.

“DART should revisit the issue,” McDonnell said.

A former employee petitioned DART recently for partner benefits. He retired for health reasons and his husband is still a DART employee.

He said Danish’s reaction was to thank him for bringing the issue to his attention. Although he was noncommittal, Danish was an early backer of adding nondiscrimination protections for the transgender community saying, “It was the right thing to do.”

As chair of the DART board, Danish can add items to the agenda. McDonnell recommends contacting all board members about support for adding benefits, but to contact Danish separately, urging him to add the item to the agenda for the Aug. 14 meeting. The address is DART Office of Board Support, P.O. Box 660163, Dallas, Texas 75266-7200.

McDonnell said that members of the community should attend the DART meeting whether or not the issue appears on the agenda and they may speak during the open comment period. The Aug 14 meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at DART headquarters, 1401 Akard St.

While we’re sort of on the subject of the Orange Line, here are two comments:

First, if DART plans another parade in December when the Beltline Road station opens, hire Irving resident David Berryman to plan a better parade. While he couldn’t have done anything about the heat, the parade wouldn’t have been so, well, crappy. Berryman coordinates the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

Second, the Orange Line through Las Colinas is an accident waiting to happen. The crossings are all without railroad arms and at many crossings also without traffic lights. Or even signs that you’re driving across active railroad tracks.

That’s not all — the tracks are set in the middle of a new, beautifully bricked sidewalk. DART is calling it their private right-of-way. They are claiming there are signs warning pedestrians to keep off. And they are serious. Using this sidewalk, I mean DART right-of-way, could earn a jogger a $500 fine. And I walked the length of the sidewalk, I mean DART right-of-way, and saw NO signs warning pedestrians to keep off.

If DART really wanted people to stay off the tracks, were interested in safety and wasn’t just planning to add to their operating budget by issuing tickets, DART would have placed the fence that runs BETWEEN the tracks OUTSIDE the tracks to just keep people off their property.

So walk in the middle of the street (because there are no sidewalks here) and avoid the wrath of DART.

—  David Taffet

Adam Lambert: The gay interview

Our intrepid contributor Chris Azzopardi sent us this exclusive interview with gay music star Adam Lambert, whose sophomore album we reviewed here this week. In it, he talks about the “novelty” of his homosexuality, being an unfit role model and his peculiar sex toy.

Remember the fuss Adam Lambert caused when he tongued his keyboardist in front of the world? Of course you do. The controversial kiss drew both homophobic outbursts and so-what shrugs, and it’s an American Music Awards moment that won’t soon be forgotten. Especially by Lambert himself.

“That was an interesting night,” he says, snickering in his charmingly guy-next-door way about that seminal smooch. “That AMAs performance was trespassing, in a way.” And, on his latest album, he’s not done crossing the line: Trespassing is the defiant second to the American Idol spawn’s 2009 debut.

More after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Listen: Adam Lambert’s “Never Close Our Eyes”

As if to tease his fans more, Lambert releases another single as they wait for his second album Trespassing to come out which was pushed to May. I think this single, “Never Close Our Eyes,” is a really good song with its electronica foundation but Lambert’s delivery commands a rocker’s edge. And his voice here has a beautiful grit to it that I never quite felt before. This should definitely amp up the anticipation for his legions of Glamberts.

Listen here.



—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Jay Brannan, Brandi Carlile, Adam Lambert and more announce releases

This has already been a strong year for queer music releases and it’s only March. But we have a few more to look forward to starting as soon as next week.

Jay Brannan will release his second album of original material after 2009’s In Living Cover album stocked with a fascinating selection of remakes. Rob Me Blind is set to drop March 27, but you can get a major preview of it now. Idolator posted the entire album on its page, sorta like we just did here.

—  Rich Lopez

LISTEN: Lambert’s “Better Than I Know Myself”

Although Adam Lambert isn’t releasing his new album Trespassing until early 2012, he’s getting us ready with his first single, “Better Than I Know Myself,” that digitally dropped today.

The track mixes some hard edge with some radio pop sensibilities, but its a good listen and there’s a maturity here that means he’s growing. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the album sounds.

Trespassing is set for a March 20 release.

—  Rich Lopez