Meeting on Proposed Restrictions on Car Booting

There have been a lot of problems lately with towing companies booting cars on private parking lots, especially in Deep Ellum. Since there are no laws on the books regulating booting, the city has responded by drafting restrictions to limit this activity.

Please help improve this ordinance by taking part in an upcoming public meeting:

April 20, 2009
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla, L1/F/North Auditorium

I don’t know why this was scheduled during the day (I hold most if not all public meetings at night to accommodate working people), but maybe a daytime meeting works alright for most people. If you attend the meeting, I welcome your input about whether it was productive.

Police Catch East Dallas Carjacker

Deputy Chief Vince Golbeck sent along the good news this morning:

Officers responded to a carjacking at 4117 Abrams Rd last night at 9:00 pm on service #103196-W. Anticipating this may be the same suspect in the string of recent robberies, other officers headed to points near the freeway that head South. An Officer was at Mockingbird/Central when he observed the suspect driving the victim’s stolen vehicle. He followed him until other squads arrived.

After a brief vehicle and foot pursuit the suspect was apprehended. He was transported to the Central Investigative Unit where he was interviewed and admitted to several of the previous carjacking offenses. So far the suspect is being connected to the following offenses: 74459w, 74831w, 79525w, 85654w, 09-001621 (Desoto PD), and 88266w. The suspect has not admitted to the offense on Martel involving the children or the offense on Matilda but we strongly feel he was involved in those as well.

WE ARE NOT RELEASING NAME/PHOTO UNTIL ALL THE VICTIMS CAN VIEW A LINE UP. This could jeopardize the remaining cases.

We will release his name once the Detectives tell us all victims have been shown the line up.

Update on East Dallas Carjackings

Deputy Chief Vince Golbeck provided the following update on East Dallas carjackings late this afternoon:

I know there is a lot of concern regarding the recent individual robberies that have occurred in and/around your neighborhoods. This is an update to the bulletin I sent at 4:00 pm. I want to clarify some misinformation that is being distributed through private individuals’ email networks that I’ve received since so please share the following with them:

A carjacking incident involving a wf/35 occurred today approximately 1:25 p.m. in the 6300 block of Martel Avenue. There were no other robberies today in this area. The driver had her 7 y/o daughter and 9 y/o son in the vehicle when she was backing out of her driveway into the rear alley. She exited vehicle to move a trash container when the suspect approached her and was wearing an orange/yellow reflective work type vest over dark blue sweatshirt. Suspect had a toy chrome handgun that we recovered at the location after the complainant struggled with the suspect since he was driving away with her children in the vehicle. The suspect did allow the children to exit the vehicle. There were no injuries. Suspect fled in complainant’s vehicle – 2005 Green Ford Expedition. He matches the description of eight previous incidents since February 5th that have occurred in Central, Northeast, Southwest, and one possibly out of town. Several of the vehicles have been recovered in South Central Division.

There was information being distributed that there was another offense today and that it occurred at Stonewall Jackson Elementary and that is not the case. There were concerns of the elementary school being in lockdown but the principal can make that decision for student safety reasons, however, the incident did not occur near the school.

Further Suspect description is: Black Male, 35-50, 5’8″ – 6’2″, 160-180 pounds. Suspect may be unshaven with a little gray and have missing or gaps in teeth. Also please confirm any additional information with the Dallas Police Department before distribution and we’ll keep you posted on any updates.

We had added additional patrols in the neighborhoods, which will continue, and intel has been distributed Departmental wide.

Corps Report Much More Damning Than City Admits

At yesterday’s briefing on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ report on Dallas’ levees, city staff and the mayor downplayed the gravity of the Corps’ findings that our levees have critical failures and have been cited as “unacceptable.” The consequences of this report are extremely serious, but you wouldn’t know that by listening to the city.

Michael Lindenberger at the DMN’s transportation blog has a great run-down of the Corps’ more serious findings and their repercussions moving forward. Continue reading

UPDATED: Corps’ Levee Report Reveals Multiple Failures

The Corps of Engineers just released their report analyzing the safety of Dallas’ levees. The news is not good. See Dallas Morning News Transportation Blog for details: DMN’s Corps to City: Trinity Levees failures are extreme, could prompt FEMA action

We must fix our levees immediately. We cannot let the toll road continue to delay our levee improvements.

UPDATE: Here is a link to part of the Corps’ report.

Dallas’ Outdoor Watering Restrictions Begin Today

Between April 1 and October 31, residents my not water their yards between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Additional Conservation Ordinance Outdoor Watering Guidelines:

  • Hand water or use a soaker hose. Both are permitted at any time.
  • Maintain your sprinkler system. Repair any broken, missing or misdirected sprinkler heads.
  • Automatic sprinkler system owners are required to have rain and freeze sensors installed.
  • Monitor your total water usage. If you use more than 15,000 gallons a month, you’ll now pay a surcharge on the
    amount above 15,000.
  • Don’t water during any form of precipitation.
  • Don’t allow your sprinkler system to water driveways, sidewalks and streets.
  • Don’t waste water by allowing runoff onto a street or other drainage area when you’re watering.
  • Violations of these outdoor water guidelines can result in fines of $250 to $2,000 per incident. First offenses will be issued a warning.

Visit to New Opera House and Theater

I’ll have pics up later today, but in the meantime:

The council got to tour the Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theater today. Amazing. After seeing the models, and watching the exterior construction, it was exciting to tour the interiors of these buildings.

The opera has a great deal of seating, but they’ve created a very intimate house, so that the audience is very close to the performance. The panels on the front of the balcony seating has a wavy design, which is less aesthetic and more acoustical, to reflect the sound in the best way possible. Continue reading