Dez Bryant and Blue Bell Each Get Paid, But Stupidity Abounds Elsewhere.

Welcome to D-Rated, in which we try to determine if the quality of life in Dallas and its surrounding areas is moving up or down by arbitrarily assigning point values to current events.

Bitch Better Have My Money: It came down to the wire, but the Cowboys made a sound personnel decision for once and paid Dez Bryant the big bucks to stay in Dallas for another five years. Hard to believe it took so long, but the mental image of Jerry Jones and Jay Z negotiating long into the night is too funny to put into words. Now at least the Cowboys have 70 million things to bitch about when they fail to reach the Super Bowl again. Plus 1.

Scouts' Honor: In a unanimous and obvious decision, an executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America voted to nix the organization's long-standing ban on openly gay leaders. It was a ban based on dangerous and insulting fears that gay men would volunteer so as to “recruit” young boys. Technically, this decision is non-binding until the board approves it on July 27th. But hopefully with all the common-sense momentum for marriage equality, we'll have another group moving in the right direction. Plus 2.

Stay Out The Hood: First, the country clerk in Hood County wouldn't marry a gay couple. Then the county's residents wanted to ban two books (My Princess Boy and This Day in June) from the public library because — gasp! — they might teach kids that gays and lesbians are just like you and me. These books were out in the library! Where any kid could read them! Some 200 folks showed up to a Tuesday morning county commission meeting on the topic since there's nothing better to do on a Tuesday morning in Hood County. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and the books will remain in the library. Why people are still trying to ban books in this day and age is beyond me. Minus 1 for stupidity. Plus 1 for making the right call.

Tesla Recoil: Well, well, well. Looks like a certain governor is loosely following his ideologies when they're not convenient. Big shocker. Greg Abbott chose to follow the lead of the state legislature and keep a longstanding law on the books that doesn't allow car manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. Gee, you think the dealership owners and gas and oil producers had anything to do with making it harder to buy a sweet electric sports car? You can check out the gallery at NorthPark Mall — but you can't order one there or test-drive it. Maybe in 2017. Minus 2.

Trucked Up: What on earth is going on in Kaufman County? This quiet region east of Dallas got all shook up in 2013 when three people were killed in a plot masterminded by former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, who was sentenced to death for the matter in December. This week, someone stole a Mack Truck, with the empty bed still attached. Worst getaway vehicle ever? Maybe! Police shot and apprehended the suspect, but there's no telling what he was thinking. Minus 1.

Our Ice Cream Savior: Blue Bell and Bass don't belong in the same sentence because that sounds like a nightmare flavor. But this is a delicious dream come true as billionaire Sid Bass will invest $125 million in the company to rebound them after the listeria outbreak that effectively shut down production earlier this year. Things should start up again in the next month or so, and we could have Texas' official ice cream back on shelves shortly thereafter. More important, this movie should let Blue Bell's furloughed employees get back to work. Plus 2.

Hole-y Shit: In obvious news that should surprise no one but anger everyone, Dallas has a major pothole problem. Even local legend Troy Aikman said as much on Twitter. Turns out, some research done by transportation group TRIP doesn't even put us in the top ten worst pothole city in the country. But that's not reason to celebrate. Dallas needs $90 million more just to get the roads back to “satisfactory conditions.” Good luck on getting that money, since most talk of late has focused on cutting taxes. It's not like crews aren't working either: They've filled more than 32,000 potholes since the first of the year, but that's just a drop in the bucket. Minus 3.

This Week's Count: Minus 1. Our lousy streets dug us deeper into the hole.
Last Week's Count: Minus 14.
Running Total: Minus 8.

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