Don’t worry, Dale — we think you’re a hunk

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Dale Hansen shown here as a young hunk.

As long as Dale Hansen brought up the subject, we’ll say it. Dale, at Dallas Voice, we voted that you still got it. You are officially one red-hot piece of beefcake.

When Michael Sam came out in February, Hansen said the NFL was ready for a gay player. Apparently, he was the only sportscaster in the country who said anything like that because the commentary got noticed nationally and landed him on Ellen.

Once Sam was drafted, Hansen weighed in again. His commentary is below. Hansen said he can’t believe there are 248 college players better than Sam. He also mentioned he’s worked with lots of gay guys at Channel 8 over the years, and he’s never gotten hit on by any of them. He wonders if it’s just because gay men tend to be professional at work or if he’s just not that attractive.

So, Dale, we want to assure you it’s just how professional your colleagues have been. You are one hot hunk, and we love you. Why, we’re even nominating you to be grand marshal of this year’s Pride parade in September.

I bet when Hansen meets Sam, if Sam gives him a hug and thanks him for being the only sports reporter in the country to fully support him from the beginning, Hansen is just secure enough to take it as nothing more than a sincere thank you.

And a note to Sam’s new team: He’s not going to hit on you. He already has a pretty great boyfriend.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: WFAA’s Dale Hansen says NFL is ready for an openly gay player

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 9.15.50 AM

WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen addressed the shocking emotions last night surrounding University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s coming out over the weekend.

Hansen said Sam, who’s expected to be drafted by the NFL in the third to fifth round, should be welcome as the first openly gay player in the NFL, a league which has welcomed players who have committed domestic abuse, rape, murder and done drugs.

“You love another man. Well, now you’ve gone too far,” Hansen said about the reactions to Sam’s coming out.

Hansen continued to say the nation and the NFL should celebrate the differences of its players, adding that he might not understand what it’s like to be gay.

“I’m not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay. I don’t understand his world,” he said. “But I do understand that he’s part of mine.”

Watch the clip below.

—  Dallasvoice

Gay photographer held up at gunpoint near DART’s Uptown Station, refuses to give up camera

Gay photographer Stephen Masker says he was taking photos of DARTs Uptown Station (near CityPlace) on Monday when three or four men approached in a van and demanded his camera at gunpoint. Masker refused to hand over the camera, and the men eventually fled, according to WFAA:

“I said, ‘What? Like, what are you talking about?’” Masker recalled. “He repeated himself and said, ‘Give me your camera.’ I said, ‘I’m not giving you my camera.’”

Masker said the men tried again, and once more he resisted before the men took off in a tan or gold mini-van.

“It was absolutely terrifying,” Masker said. “It was unreal.”

Highland Park police say a few minutes before, suspects matching the same description held up another man in an alley near Hillcrest and Princeton, taking his phone.

Masker said if he had to do it all again, he would not do it the same way.

“I would’ve given them the camera if it was a do-over,” he said. “If it ever happens again, I’ll give away whatever’s on me.”

Watch WFAA’s report below:

—  John Wright

Tom Leppert attacks Ted Cruz for accepting $250K from gay Republican donor Peter Thiel

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, second from right, schmoozes with gay Republican leader Rob Schlein, far left, during a holiday party at Schlein's home in 2009. Also pictured are, from left, Schlein's mother Shirley, Leppert's wife Laura, and Schlein's partner David Keeton.

As you may recall, tea-bagging former solicitor general Ted Cruz has repeatedly attacked former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert for twice appearing in the city’s gay Pride parade. Cruz and Leppert are battling for second place and a spot in a runoff alongside Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

In the past, Leppert has defended his decision to appear at Pride by saying he was merely doing what Jesus would do — embracing all groups. But now it looks like Leppert has dropped the peaceful, Christ-like approach and is acting more like the pissed-off God from the Old Testament.

According to WFAA’s Brad Watson, in a segment recorded for Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics, Leppert returned Cruz’s anti-gay fire by slamming the former solicitor general for accepting a quarter-million dollars from gay Republican donor Peter Thiel while raising money for an aborted campaign for attorney general in 2009. Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, is also the top donor to the national gay conservative group GOProud.

From WFAA:

Cruz cited a 2003 Beaumont case of two gay men joined by civil union in another state who wanted a divorce that he worked on in the state attorney general’s office.

“I’m the only one here today that has a proven record of actually standing up fighting for traditional marriage,” he said.

But Leppert accused Cruz of hypocrisy and taking credit for decisions actually made by Attorney General Greg Abbott.

“Now that was a case that they weren’t in charge of, but then what they fail to tell you is, in an aborted run for attorney general, they received a quarter-of-a-million dollars from the gay activist who was leading the fight for gay marriage in California.”

Texas campaign finance records show Cruz took a total of $251,220 from magnate and gay activist Peter Thiel in 2009 while raising money for a run as state attorney general.

Cruz didn’t directly respond to the donation charge but did fire back, “Both Tom Leppert and David Dewhurst talk a good game, but both of them have raised taxes.”

While Leppert’s attempt to turn the anti-gay tables on Cruz is an interesting strategy, it could also be viewed as hypocritical. Let’s not forget that in  addition to appearing at Pride as mayor, Leppert hired an openly gay chief of staff and regularly schmoozed with gay Republicans himself. The above photo shows Leppert at a 2009 holiday party at the home of Rob Schlein, who then headed the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans and now heads the local GOProud affiliate.

However, both Cruz and Leppert know that in a statewide Texas GOP primary, anti-gay rhetoric stills plays well with voters. So it isn’t surprising that we’re seeing another round of it before early voting begins Monday, especially in the wake of President Barack Obama’s decision to come out in support of same-sex marriage.

Watch a video clip of the exchange between Leppert and Cruz below. The full Inside Texas Politics airs at 9 a.m. Sunday.

—  John Wright

Damn you, Colleen Coyle!

Team Dallas Voice: Arnold Wayne Jones, Anna Waugh, Rich Lopez, David Taffet

Dallas Voice participated in the Reliant Energy Kite Relay this morning at Fair Park. Anna Waugh, Rich Lopez, Arnold Wayne Jones and I flew a kite, dressed as Ben Franklin, folded a pinwheel, answered energy questions … and came in second.

WFAA Channel 8′s Colleen Coyle beat us by a few steps. She won $2,500 for the ASPCA. Bob Williams from Ranch Hand Rescue, our charity, was on hand and received $250.

“You should have tripped her,” Waugh said. “Next time we’ll know better.”

About a dozen news organizations were on hand to compete.

The Reliant energy-efficient house was on hand. Among the interesting new appliances displayed was a hot water heater that uses heat from the attic to warm the water in the tank and releases cool air into the attic to help cool the house. During the winter, the heater works on electricity as well.

The kite relay was to promote a Saturday event in the Trinity River bottoms near the viaduct behind Lew Sterrett. Closest parking is in the courthouse parking lots. Hot air balloons, hang gliders, kite relay teams will be part of the fun from noon to 6 p.m. More photos from today’s event below.

—  David Taffet

PHOTO: Meteor in North Texas

Local news outlets are reporting that a “fireball,” or very bright meteor, passed through the skies of North Texas tonight, creating a loud sonic boom. Above is a photo of the fireball posted by one of our Facebook friends a short time ago. WFAA reports:

WFAA received more than 200 reports Wednesday night from people who said they saw what appeared to be a meteor streaking across the North Texas sky shortly after 8 o’clock.

Many people also said they heard what sounded like a sonic boom (or booms) associated with the fireball, which was apparently witnessed all the way from San Antonio to Oklahoma City.

The Federal Aviation Administration told TV station KWTX in Waco that it was a meteor.

DISCLAIMER: As of 10:15 p.m. I can’t personally vouch for the authenticity of the photo. The person who posted it on Facebook has not responded to my messages. I have already been contacted by two local TV stations asking if they could run the photo.

UPDATE, 10:30: The Facebook friend who posted the photo now says he got it from KDFW’s Facebook page. However, he says the photo has since been removed from the page. WFAA just showed the same photo on its 10 p.m. newscast.

Below is some video that appears to have been captured by the dash cam of a police vehicle in Little River-Academy, which is near Temple:

—  John Wright

WATCH: Residents slam Rawlings for skipping Kiest Park meeting to avoid gay-rights protest

Below is a rather unflattering report from WFAA’s Jonathan Betz about Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ decision to skip a “Meet the Mayor” community meeting in Kiest Park on Tuesday to avoid a gay-rights protest — a decision which some are calling “cowardly.”

“Although folks here did not meet the mayor,” Betz says at the end, “many say they still learned a lot about him.”

Just ouch.

—  John Wright

Local briefs • 10.14.11

RCD hosts ‘The 5 Factor’

Resource Center Dallas, in partnership with Dallas Modern Luxury, presents the third annual “The 5 Factor” event on Thursday, Oct. 20, at eM the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. in Dallas.

“The 5 Factor” event recognizes five of Dallas’ finest in areas such as cuisine, fashion, media and literature.

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

General admission is $50 per person, available online at The5Factor.org. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.

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GLAAD holds ‘Get Amped’ 5K

The local chapter of GLAAD presents Get Amped, a 5K run/walk on the Katy Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with similar chapter events around the country.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.

The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. The celebration takes place at the finish line, also at the arena, at 9 p.m.

An after-party takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon.

Each runner has a goal of raising $250. The money raised will benefit the national organization.

……………………………

VNA holds Service of Remembrance

The Visiting Nurse Association will host a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Preston Hollow United Methodist Church, 6315 Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.

The event is open to the public and will feature special music, readings and the opportunity to light a memorial candle.

Attendees of all faiths are welcome to attend the service.

For more information call Sue Rafferty, bereavement coordinator with the Visiting Nurse Association, at 214-689-2922

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

LifeWalk steps off Sunday in Lee Park

Nobles says that park will not be fenced this year but is worried about added cost and barrier affecting next year’s event

KICKING UP THEIR HEELS | The LifeWalk organizing committee gets ready for Sunday.

 

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

New requirements by the city of Dallas could affect proceed totals from this year’s AIDS Arms LifeWalk, and at least one more new requirement is expected to be added to the list next year, according to LifeWalk organizers.

The 21st annual LifeWalk steps off from Lee Park on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. for the 3.2-mile walk. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Last year’s event raised $401,000 and this year’s goal is $500,000.

Although thousands of people are expected for the event, Lee Park will remain unfenced this year, even though the city has said such gatherings will require fencing in the future.

Officials with the Dallas Tavern Guild, which stages the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in Lee Park each year as part of Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride celebration, decided to get ahead of the new requirement by fencing in Lee Park this year for the festival, although the city requirement had not yet gone into effect.

Tavern Guild officials also chose to charge a $5 admission fee to the festival this year to help offset expenses and raise extra funds that will be distributed to parade beneficiaries.

The admission fee raised the ire of some in the community, and attendance at the festival was down compared to last year. But Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said the drop was not significant, and noted that the admission fee brought in about $25,000 that will be divided among beneficiaries.

But AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles said new city requirements have already had an impact on LifeWalk, and she is worried that the new fencing requirements could affect next year’s walk.

“There were a lot more expenses from the city this year,” she said. “It really hits the bottom line.”

The cost of fencing next year will add an additional, unwelcome expense. But Nobles said she isn’t going to worry about that until after this weekend’s event. Right now, her main concern is getting people out to participate in this year’s fundraiser.

“Anyone can participate in LifeWalk,” Nobles said. “You can walk alone or bring friends or join a team. We even have poop-out vans: In case you can’t walk the entire three-mile route, someone will pick you up and bring you back to the park to have a good time.”

She also invited people to just come to the park and cheer.

“We need cheerleaders at the start and finish and at the water stations,” Nobles said. “We have pompoms for anyone who wants to cheer the walkers on.”

Registration for LifeWalk is $40 for people and $10 for dogs participating in LifeBark. People get a T-shirt and dogs get a bandana to show their support for people with HIV.

AIDS Arms is the primary beneficiary of LifeWalk, but other organizations also receive funds from the event, including AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus, Bryan’s House, Resource Center Dallas and the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Money raised goes toward programming rather than capital costs. The chorale uses funds for their HIV fund, including giving tickets to performances through the year to people with AIDS.

Nobles praised that effort, saying that socializing is an important holistic element in treating HIV.

The Women’s Chorus will present a program at AIDS Arms in March on National HIV Women’s Day. Those expenses, Nobles said, should be covered by the group’s LifeWalk proceeds.

Nobles said it would be tempting for AIDS Arms to use the money to finish paying off the agency’s new Trinity Health and Wellness Center in Oak Cliff. She said that the new facility cost more than $2 million, and AIDS Arms needs to raise just $35,000 more to pay off the facility.

Trinity Health and Wellness Center opened in September and will have its formal grand opening in two weeks.

But despite the temptation, AIDS Arms will instead use proceeds from LifeWalk to support programs for clients at Trinity as well as at AIDS Arms’ older clinic, Peabody Health Center in South Dallas.

AIDS Arms also uses the money to administer HIV tests to more than 3,500 people a year and for case management for more than 3,400 people.

LifeWalk began in 1990 as a fundraiser for Oak Lawn Community Services. When that agency closed, management of the event moved to AIDS Arms.

LifeWalk Co-chair Marvin Green noted that his Green Team will mark its 20th year of participation in LifeWalk. He said he put the team together for the first time in the second year of LifeWalk because he had already lost 20 friends to AIDS.

That first year, three team members raised $75. This year, the 32-member Green Team has collected about $22,000.

Co-chair Fred Harris said that there were quite a few new teams this year.

“We’re reaching out to new communities,” Harris said. “There’s new energy. We’re branching outside Oak Lawn.”

He said teams are using creative new ways to raise money and AIDS Arms has actively brought in new sponsors such as Chipotle.

“Stoli is coming with a first-ever LifeWalk drink,” Nobles said. Returning sponsor Caven Enterprises will serve beer and Ben E. Keith donated iced tea.

Harris said planning has gone well, and that “LifeWalk is a well-oiled machine.”

Harris said he has seen more use of social media this year than ever, reaching out to people outside the Metroplex.

“This year Facebook has become a very powerful tool,” he said, not just for fundraising but also for recruiting walkers.

Last year, about 3,500 people walked, and this year, “Registration is ahead of where we were this time last year,” Harris said.

Waterpalooza, another AIDS Arms event, was moved to Pride weekend this year, just two weeks prior to LifeWalk. Harris said they took advantage of that event to sign up teams and walkers and generate excitement for this weekend’s walk.

Among the new teams, Harris said, are the DFW Sisters.

“Their efforts have been tireless,” he said. “They raise the bar.”

Nobles said that WFAA Channel 8 morning anchor Ron Corning will serve as M.C. in Lee Park. Although he’s appeared at several events since arriving in Dallas, this is the first big public event the openly gay television host has emceed.

LifeWalk received the Human Rights Campaign family-friendly designation, and Nobles said there will be bounce houses, clowns and face-painting for children.

Harris said the event is pet-friendly as well, “because pets are our family.”

There will be games and puppy pools for dogs as well as doggie adoptions, Nobles said.

She said the day would be a lot of fun but asked people to participate because the need is greater than ever.

“With the growth in the number of newly-infected people in Dallas County who need help in this economy, we’re seeing people who never would ask but must,” she said.

Next year, Nobles said, she would like to see LifeWalk return to Oak Lawn, but new city regulations for events may change those plans. Among the events changing plans this year because of the city involved Lone Star Ride.

Last year, Lone Star Riders participated in LifeWalk on bike. This year, city regulations banned bikes from walks so LSR riders who participate will have to walk.

Green was thinking about bigger plans for future LifeWalks. Other cities that raise more money stage longer walks. He said he’d love to use the new Downtown Deck Park that should be completed next year and dreamed of seeing LifeWalkers crossing the new suspension bridge that should be open in March 2012.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

WATCH: Fort Worth’s ‘Close Encounters’ night

A scene straight out of a sci-fi movie as transformers blow up in east Fort Worth

Maybe it’s just me, but dang! Seems like the weather here in North Texas is getting weirder and weirder! I mean, first we have the Great Snowstorm of 2010, followed by the ice this past winter. And now this year it seems like we’re having some extravagantly severe thunderstorms, with tornadoes happening every day last week and this week’s outrageous lighting storms.

I live in Fort Worth, on the east side, and on Tuesday night we had a pretty strong storm front move through. It didn’t last long, really, but for a couple of hours, the city seemed to be really getting hit hard by lightning. In fact, according to this report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about 210 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were reported between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. that night, with another 120 reported the following hour, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

And apparently, a lot of those lightning strikes were hitting transformers — the kinds on the electrical poles, not the kind that are vehicles that turn into giant alien robots. But watch this video — which appears to have been recorded from a high-rise location in downtown Fort Worth, looking east toward the area just north of I-30 and was posted to YouTube by BrianLuenser — and it looks like it could have been a scene straight out of the next big sci-fi movie. We can call it “Close Encounters — The Fort Worth Way.”

It’s pretty frightening sometimes to realize the power of nature, but at the same time, frighteningly beautiful.

Just so you known, WFAA.com is forecasting more thunderstorms today — but hey, the weekend looks great!

—  admin