Rallying Around The Lakewood and Refreshing Rain Brings Us Back to Normalcy!
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 awarding and subtracting point values to our living situation based on current events.
Lakewood Landmark: It all started a couple weeks ago when the Lakewood began unexpectedly ripping out its furniture and tossing it in a dumpster. That's when folks really began to wonder just what was happening to the 77-year-old theater. Turns out, owners are renovating it in hopes of selling it off, as the space has been vacant since January. But now thay renovation has hit a snag: On Tuesday, officials unanimously voice to designate the theater as a landmark. Personally, I don't really have a dog in this fight. Keeping it as a theater – which seems to be what most people want – isn't that viable since there's next to no parking in the nearby lots. In turn, and in order to actually make some money, owners might have to lease it to — gasp! — a retail business or something else that's not considered hip. Can't say I blame them for that. Still, it's great to see the community rallying so quickly to save what it views as a local icon. My only question: Where were these people when they turned the Casa Linda Theatre into a grocery store? Plus 2.
Reed's Re-do: Speaking of renovations and changes of heart, the Dallas City Council is letting the Braniff building at Love Field get a facelift after all! Two weeks ago the council said “nuh-uh” to Randall Reed's $41 million proposal in order to view other proposals. That's extremely rare in this city! But the 8-6 vote proves there were enough skeptics to bring it back. Anyway, Reed won't borrow any city money to pay for his grand plan, but he will get the space free for the first 10 years of the lease. But the property's needed some work for a while, and Reed seems fully invested in bringing it up to speed. So that's cool. Plus 1.
Kill It with Fire: In one of the more gut-churning area criminal cases in recent memory, five firefighters have been indicted on accusations of sexually assaulting a colleague. The men allegedly used a sausage to rape their colleague while one of their girlfriends filmed it on her cell phone. The chief and assistant chief allegedly saw the tape and then told everyone to keep their mouths shut about it. Let's hope these sickos get locked up. Minus 2.
Ebby and Flow: Outside of the sports world, it’s hard to find a bigger Dallas icon than ukulele-playing real estate mogul Ebby Halliday. It was incredibly sad, then, to learn that the 104-year-old entrepreneur died on Tuesday. The company she founded in 1945 is now one of the largest independent real estate companies in the nation, with 2014 sales topping $6 billion. She will be missed. Minus 1.
Shine Bright Like a Diamond: It was a scary week for thefts in the region! Last Thursday, an Israeli diamond dealer was allegedly robbed at gunpoint at North Dallas Bank. Then, on Wednesday morning, four or five guys drove a stolen truck into Plano's Mister Guns and made off with 93 firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is looking into the latter case, offering a reward for any valuable information. Minus 1.
September Rain: Not to sound like my mom here, but, you guys, it actually rained on Wednesday! After the torrential downpours of the spring, we had barely a drop in July and August. Good news, then, that September 9 brought nearly two inches of rain, which is a record for that date. Plus 3.
Tolled Ya So: It may not mean salvation for drivers on the constantly crowded 635, but the newly completed LBJ TEXpress lanes might now offer a wonderful, if potentially costly, reprieve. As anyone can tell you, driving 635 between 75 and 35 is a total day-ruiner as those 13 miles can take more than an hour sometimes. The new toll lanes run underneath the highway, and cost more if the traffic is really bad. But it does give drivers a choice. And yes, that choice will often be “I don't care how much it costs. Get me out of this now.” Plus 2.
This Week's Total: Plus 4.
Last Week's Running Count: Minus 4.
This Week's Running Count: Zero. We've returned to equilibrium, baby!
Cover photo of The Polyphonic Spree at the Lakewood Theater by Karlo X. Ramos.