This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.
This week, in news from DFW, a mass shooting in a historically Black neighborhood in Fort Worth, the return of a former statewide candidate to DFW politics, the 2024 Senate race, the Rangers’ refusal to put on Pride Night, Fairfield State Park, and controversy over JFK assassination documents. Plus it’s time to discuss State Fair food and watching the lions and elephants cooling off at the Dallas Zoo.
I wasn’t familiar with Como, a neighborhood on the west side of Fort Worth, until this week, when a mass shooting injured eleven, three of whom later died, just after the ComoFest Independence Day celebration. The neighborhood was planned in the late 1800s as a holiday water destination after a dam was put in and named after an Italian resort, but the financing collapsed during one of the panics of the 1890s and Black families moved in. Unsurprisingly, as a Black community, Como received little support and had few amenities, and had to make do with their own. ComoFest started in 2021 and is put on by a community group founded in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
In the three days since the shooting, the community has met to figure out how to avoid the next tragedy in a community where the history is characterized by official neglect. There’s also a meeting of the Lake Como Neighborhood Advisory Council happening on Thursday night that will discuss these issues.
As I mentioned, the first ComoFest was held in 2021. In the hours immediately after that festival, a mass shooting at an area car wash injured eight people. Fortunately nobody was killed in that incident.
In related news this week, the sentencing hearing for the convicted killer in the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019 began on Wednesday. He was from Allen, the Dallas suburb that was the site of a mass shooting of its own on May 6 of this year.
In other area news this week:
- You may remember Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County Sheriff who resigned to campaign for governor in the 2018 election cycle. She’s running for sheriff again. I don’t have a strong feeling about Valdez as sheriff or about her successor, Marian Brown, who was her third-in-command when Valdez held the office in 2017 (before we moved here). Valdez is 75 now, though, and I admit to a little concern about her age.
- Here’s another piece about the cyberattack on Pilot Credentials, the third-party application portal Southwest and American were using to hire pilots.
- Another followup, this time on the Rangers’ failure to host a Pride night: The Athletic talked to employees who say it’s at the highest levels of ownership. Apparently all the other local franchises work with community groups. The Rangers are the sole exception.
- The DMN has a catch-up on the Senate race in 2024. In addition to the ongoing discussion of Roland Gutierrez’s possibly entry into the race, Carl Sherman Sr., the state representative for DeSoto, is considering a run, joining Colin Allred and Midland city council member John Love in the Democratic primary. Nobody has dared to primary Ted Cruz. Also KERA, our NPR outlet, reports that Allred has raised nearly $6.2 million in the last couple of months to take on Cruz. Full disclosure: we are donors to the Allred campaign at our house.
- Arch Aplin III, chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, has an op-ed in the DMN about why eminent domain is the right way to save Fairfield Lake State Park.
- Texas Monthly has an interview with Dallas state representative John Bryant. Bryant was elected to the Texas House in 1974, went to Congress in 1982, and retired in 1997. Now he’s back and was one of Texas Monthly’s best in the most recent legislative session.
- There is still controversy going on about the release of documents relating to the assassination of JFK here in Dallas in 1963, and President Joe Biden still hasn’t released all of them.
- Important life lesson: Don’t invite a Duggar to preach at your church or you may have to apologize for his sermon about slavery. Please remember that the kind of garbage social studies standards that folks are trying to bring into the public schools in this state are how you get people who believe and preach appalling things like Duggar’s sermon.
- RISD, the school district I’m zoned into, is locking away cell phones in magnetic bags in five area secondary schools after a successful pilot program. Least surprising statistic in this story: “Of the students at Forest Meadow, about 14% supported the implementation of the Yondr program, compared to about 68% of Forest Meadow parents.”
- Eater tells me You Are Not Ready for the 2023 State Fair of Texas Big Tex Food Semi-Finalists, which is true because I’m never ready for them. This year’s batch has two items that interest me: Creole Etouffee Beignets and the Deep Fried Surf & Turf Empanada. One of these years I’m going to get to the Fair and eat some of these foods and spend the next two weeks recovering.
- I’m adding Leftover: The Enduring Legacy of Chinese Cuisine at Preservation Dallas to my museum to-dos this month after reading this story about the exhibition.
- Enjoy this video of lions and elephants beating the heat at the Dallas Zoo. A little over a minute, sound, but no speech/subtitles.