Dispatches from Dallas, August 25 edition

This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.

This week, in news from Dallas-Fort Worth, we have a story from Granbury, southwest of Fort Worth, that ties up a lot of book-banning business locally, in the Metroplex, and statewide. We also have Dallas’ city budget, appraisal district shenanigans, the latest from Joppa, election fraud in Dallas County, cops behaving badly, HS football vs the killer heat, water mains vs the killer heat, USCIS raising visa fees that will kill portions of the touring music business, and the eternal question of tacos in Dallas: good, bad, or indifferent?

This week’s post was brought to you by the music of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who have just released a new album, and the music of Japan, who have sadly not released anything lately.

First up, a book-banner scandal in Granbury, southwest of Fort Worth: trustee Karen Lowery, who was elected last year on a book-banning platform, was censured by a vote of 5-2 (the two being herself and her ally Melanie Graft) for sneaking into the Granbury HS library while it was closed during an after-hours event to distribute school supplies. Lowery and another woman were caught in the darkened library using their phones as flashlights by an assistant principal. There was an investigation that led to the banning at a raucous school board meeting this week.

The more I read up on this story, the more interesting it got. Current local coverage is in the Star-Telegram; the DMN; local Fox affiliate; and last week from Hood County News. The Daily Beast is on the story nationally. But there was also some fascinating additional background when I did a little research on Trustee Lowery: this Texas Tribune article from back in December 2022 about a federal investigation into Granbury ISD’s book-banning ways.

Even more interesting is this investigative piece on Medium dating from April 2022 where Chris Tackett lays out a lot of well-documented history from his public records requests about what has been going on in Granbury ISD in the previous few years. He has a follow-up from January of this year about the books that have actually been removed from Granbury ISD’s library. He ties the removals directly to Matt Krause’s 850-book list from back in 2021. Granbury got its marching orders from Krause and have been slogging forward ever since. All Trustee Lowery got wrong was not following the process.

Where Granbury is right now is where the book-banners want to take the rest of us. As our host is wont to say, you know what to do: vote in every election and take your friends and run these people out of office. Nothing will change until we do.

In other news:

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