This Week, Dallas Got Its Knickers In A Twist.
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.
Prude Awakening: Mike Rawlings has done a lot of good lately by shutting down people who make false cries of safety just so they can keep out or get rid of things they don't like. But he caved this week to the moral crusaders who wanted to ban the eXXXotica porn expo from setting up at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center this year. The city council agreed by an 8-7 vote, and the adults-only convention won't be welcomed back. (Trying to redefine the public space as a sexually-oriented business and the restrictions that entails is some kind of incredible leap of logic.) Of course, this opens the city to a lawsuit — or two, actually, as a second porn convention has now applied for a permit in the wake of this madness. Here's the problem: The convention center is publicly owned, so by barring any group from renting out the space without a major public safety concern is quite possibly violating the renters' First Amendment rights. It's likely they'll just find another venue, but they could easily sue the city, and they'd have a pretty strong case. If you're repulsed by sex or find the idea of adult film actors cavorting around and snapping pics with fans obscene, I could see why you wouldn't want this in your fair city. But when the public owns the space, your personal feelings don't get to dictate who's allowed to use it. How would you like it if the city told you that your meeting of the Uptight Squares Club couldn't meet at the convention center? That's what I thought. Minus 3.
Dancing on the Ceiling: The scene at Baylor Downtown looked more like a thriller on Sunday night. A robbery suspect was brought in after he told officers he ate a bag of drugs. He was handcuffed to his hospital bed, but freed himself when no one was looking and started climbing through the ceiling after moving some tiles The bold escape didn't last long, as police crawled up there with him and re-arrested him. Plus 1.
Dance, Tragic, Dance: Vann Gilbert was once known as the Doctor of Dance. Now he's known as an alleged child molester. After a 90-minute standoff with Dallas SWAT, Gilbert surrendered Monday. The accusations go back more than two decades, which is even more appalling. But at least this guy is in custody now. Minus 4 for his alleged crimes, Plus 2 for his incident-free arrest.
Bond, Double Bond: Following months of protests, Dallas ISD has heard the students of South Oak Cliff High School, and will now spend $25 million to complete repairs on the school that some have called “disgusting,” due to its poor HVAC, leaky roof and other lousy conditions. Trustee Lew Blackburn recommended $40 million, but administrators initially only approved $13 million and continued pressure on the district forced them to nearly double that original amount. This is a big win for the often neglected South Dallas-area school. Plus 3.
Share and Share Alike: As Southwest continues long negotiations with its pilots, the airline announced a record $620 million profit share amongst its employees. That's about 15.6 percent of each employee's pay. The money isn't a bonus, but will be added to their retirement plans. It's the least a company that made $2.2 billion in net income last year could do. Now if only some other companies would follow their lead. Plus 2.
This Week's Total: Plus 1.
Last Week's Running Total: Minus 4.
This Week's Running Total: Minus 3.