Welcome to Big D Dirt’s first installment of 2012. It was a pretty happenin’ week in the Big D as 2012 got off to its first week of existence. Perhaps this is a good indication of the level of awesomeness this year will bring. Until, of course, mid-December when the world will come to a firey end. Let’s make the most of it!
As if the start of 2012 wasn’t already too exciting, The Dallas City Council has released a picture calendar for 2012. The calendar features pictures from the Trinity Photo Contest of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Trinity River Corridor Project – and one fly picture of the Dallas City Council chilling on what looks to be a splattering of Ikea furniture placed in front of City Hall. Work it, Rawlings. Work it.
OccupyNow and the Westboro Baptist Church dueled it out at the recent TicketCity Bowl in Fair Park last Monday. Westboro Baptist was there to protest the game, which featured Houston and Penn State. Two guesses as to which one they hate most. Shirley Phelps-Roper, the spokesperson for the group,who was donning a purple “God Hates Fags” sweatshirt, told the Dallas Observer god sent “raping coaches” as a punishment to the United States. Their signs reviling gays and the “antichrist Obama” (complete with horns and fire), were met in full force by 40 members of “Occupy Now,” a split off group from the Dallas Occupy Movement, which started up chants such as “Whose butt? My butt!” followed with a classy amount of dry humping.
City Hall is trying to go green by adding more electric vehicles to their fleet and sticking charging stations all over the city. The new charging stations include City Hall, the downtown library, Dallas Love Field, Dallas Executive Airport and Fair Park. The stations are being installed this month and will be useable by February. City Hall is being briefed today on that issue (read the briefing here), as well as the new electric vehicles, which include three little vans courtesy of Colorado-based Boulder Electric. They get to test drive the vehicles for a year paid for by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality grant, and the vehicles come with three more charging stations.
Craig James, Texas’ newest senate candidate, is perhaps finally dealing with that “hey, didn’t you kill five prostitutes when you were at SMU?” rumor. And by “dealing with it” I mean Tweeting and Facebooking that he was “Google bombed,” which led to comments such as “Sooooooooo…does this qualify as a denial?” Not that this matters much anyway since James’ candidacy is almost pointless. He’s trying to play on the conservative vote, one that is being split between current frontrunner and David Dewhurst and his main opponent, Ted Cruz. James’ newly released campaign commercial, in which he praises Rick Perry and says he’ll do in Washington what Perry did here, doesn’t make much sense given that Perry isn’t even selling it well himself. But hey, here’s the video just in case you want to see James dressed up like a cowboy.
The City Council was briefed on the bond package for 2012 last Wednesday, and though the briefing was 47 pages long and the meeting lasted quite a while, both were pretty skimpy on specifics. Given that not all of last year’s massive bond package has been spent, city officials say they just don’t know how this year’s package will shape up. As of now, it is supposed to focus on the basic needs of the city: economic development, streets and drainage. This year’s package, which sits at about $500 million, is only a fraction of the cost of last year’s, which was $1.35 billion. That hefty package was approved by voters who wanted the luxuries of new libraries and clean parks and didn’t mind a tax increase to get them. This year, no one has extra cash for new slides.