a Comon Sense Approach toPot Provides a Nice Lift This Week.

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.

Howdy, Y'all: Despite the best efforts of our xenophobic governor, a Syrian refugee family — already scheduled to be resettled in Dallas — moved into their new apartment this week. Federal judges have denied both temporary restraining orders filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton (who was actually indicted for a crime), because they're based on fear and not on any real evidence, so these are six of 21 refugees that will call Dallas or Houston home by week's end. I say we follow the example of Canada and France and welcome even more in. Plus 3.

Cuban Flavor: Though he originally praised Donald Trump for giving “honest answers rather than prepared answers,” outspoken Mavs owner Mark Cuban had a different take on the bloviating presidential candidate on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore this week. Said Cubes, “He's like that guy who's going into a bar and he'll say whatever it takes to get laid. Only in this case he's not trying to fuck a girl, he's trying to fuck the country.” Boom. Roasted. It would be an entertaining diversion if the Mavs weren't doing so hot, but they're still second in the division to the Spurs and only a half-game behind the Thunder. It's a great time to be a Mavs fan and a Trump hater. Plus 1.

Ticket to Paradise: Maybe, just maybe, a meaningful criminal justice reform will get through the City Council soon. The Public Safety Committee passed a proposal on the “cite-and-release” policy, and at some point in the near future, the full council will get to hear it and vote on it. Essentially, it will allow police officers to issue a ticket to people they bust with small amounts of marijuana. They'll still have to appear in court, but it frees up beds in crowded county jails and frees up the police to spend time trying to stop real crimes. There's still the possibility it could fail because there are some backwards folks on the council but, as Chief David Brown said, “It's too damn practical.” Of course, this could all be avoided if Texas would just legalize marijuana and get all that sweet, sweet tax revenue, but we can't really count on them to do anything. Plus 2.

Why the Hell Not?: Cowboys fans are still holding onto a shred of hope. Thanks to a last-second field goal from Dan Bailey on Monday, they beat Washington and could somehow end up winning the division, despite being 4-8. This is total foolishness, despite technically being feasible. The Cowboys need a good draft pick, not the opportunity to get blown out by a superior team in the first round of the playoffs. But Jerry Jones in the business of winning, not making good decisions! Barring some crazy turn of events, the Cowboys won't beat the Packers, especially not at Lambeau. But as sportswriter Ryan McCrystal points out, if all four teams in the NFC East finish 6-10 (entirely possible), the Cowboys have the tiebreaker in that scenario, and win the division. It's absurd and just bad, bad football to watch but, hey, this makes the NFL fun again! Plus 1.

nl Green Turn Blue: It was an ugly season for my alma mater UNT Mean Green. They only won one game (against UTSA) and got eviscerated by Portland State at Homecoming. Obviously, our coach didn't last the season. But now we've got North Carolina's offensive coordinator — who led the team to a 10th-place finish and a slot against Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl — taking the reins. It's been an ugly 15 years for UNT football, but this hire brings with it a ray of hope. Like nearly everything in Denton, they keep adding good stuff after I've left. Plus 1.

Give it a Rest: Despite the protests of Mayor Mike Rawlings, the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance requiring mandatory rest breaks on construction sites. The provision requires all construction workers to take a 10-minute break for every four hours worked. Some on the council (including the mayor) called it unnecessary, saying OSHA should be handling these requirements. But it seems like a no-brainer, especially considering how hot it gets here. But starting January 1, all workers will get to a much-needed break. Plus 2.

This Week's Total: Plus 10.
Last Week's Running Total: Minus 16.
This Week's Running Total: Minus 6.

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