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Dallas At Tipping Point

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I first saw this Dallas Morning News article on Tory Gattis' blog. I found it to be stunning in it's gloomy predictions.

http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/spe/2005/tippingpoint/

The link that I put up is actually an update article to the Morning News' original special report. The basic question asked is, "Is Dallas in decline?". The article, and a study commissioned by the Morning News, basically said in no uncertain terms...Yes.

The article lists many of the things we've heard and discussed on this forum...crime, flight to the suburbs, racial strife...and says city government doesn't have a plan to fix it.

What do you think? I especially would like to hear from Metroplex residents, with this caveat: If the best you can do is get upset at the article, write to the Dallas Morning News. If you're mad that I put it on this board, feel free to complain, but understand that we'll be laughing at you. HOWEVER, if you want to offer constructive and intelligent comments or solutions, by all means, I'd love to hear them. That goes for Houstonians, too.

Tell us whether you live in the city, or which suburb, please.

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*A reminder*

Please read the REMINDER at the top of this page before responding

Anything even resembling 'flaming' will be deleted. Keep on topic. No personal attacks.

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I would think regardless that some of those findings would be very useful to Houston leaders as they monitore their own standing in this.

The thing that bothers me the most about the Booz Allen report is that the economy in Dallas doesn't seem to be expanding much and that many of the higher-tax paying residents are moving to the suburbs. The mix is volatile.

As far as education, Dallas seems to have the same problems that cities like Houston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami have: a very diverse school district with many immigrant children who struggle to learn the language (or learn period) while trying to help the family get on its feet.

In any case, the first step, seemingly, to keeping a city intact is to keep its middle and upper class residents, and you do that by improving the schools and reducing crime. There are other ancillary factors such as maintaining the apperance of neighborhoods so property values don't drop but...

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as much as i love to jab the metroplex, i'm not pleased to hear of increasing problems for our fellow texans to the north.

concerning the crime issue, didn't rudy giuliani "take a bite out of crime" in manhattan while mayor. if memory serves, he concentrated on the enforcement of lesser laws (like jaywalking, running red lights, public drunkenness....) in order to increase police presence in the conciousness of new yorkers and let would be criminals know to look out. someone else may have a better recollection of rudy's crime fighting plan.

maybe dallas should give rudy a call.

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While schools and crime are definitely at the top of the list, the hemming in of the City by the ring of suburban towns does not allow Dallas to follow the fleeing middle class with annexation. I find it interesting that Metroplex residents incorporated their suburbs, while Houston area residents did not. I've never understood why one group did and the other did not. It certainly was not the result of some enlightened thinking on the part of Houston suburbanites. I grew up in Spring, and I know the suburban residents in Spring dissed Houston every bit as bad as Plano or Richardson residents dissed Dallas.

Whatever caused it, the end result is that the Dallas suburban towns threaten to choke the life out of Dallas, the reason for their existence. And the competitive nature of cities suggests that they will not start cooperating any time soon.

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The problems outlined in Dallas at the Tipping Point are not new to us. We live here, remember.

But they are the types of problems many large cities across America are having to face. Dallas is not any different in that regard.

But, in my opinion, we are effectively dealing with them and making progress on all fronts. The new DISD superintendent has a solid plan to increase test scores and the effectiveness of our schools. The new police Chief promised a 20% reduction in major crime and delivered 19%. The city's vast undeveloped Southern sector is coming to life with new retail and residential costruction. And most importantly, Downtown Dallas (along with neighboring Uptown) is experiencing a stunning boom in residential and retail growth.

So, the issues in Tipping Point were taken to heart and are being dealt with.

You can rest assured, Big D is clearly tipping toward solid growth, not decline.

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Crime and public education have become a cancer in Dallas. I'm led to believe a majority of the debilitating operational errors within the school district and police department are politically rooted, and that's the stupidest source imaginable.

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^^^ The Dallas Observer did a series of articles literally attacking the police, the school district and City Hall concerning their roles in the deterioration of both public safety and public education (Granted, the Observer is usually pretty jaded anyway, but these articles offered specific incidences and were part of a series that basically followed up on "The Tipping Point" broadcast).

The specific article that bothers me is the one on how Dallas Police was enforcing (or not enforcing) the nuisance property laws. It was almost as if the police were punishing the residents/business that complained about crime. How in the hell does something like that take place within an outfit as large and as diverse as DPD? You'd think someone at the top would realize how ridiculous the entire situation is.

In fact, I'm going to google the specific article to see if I can share it. Just revoltingly stupid stuff.

Wow, that didn't take long.

http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/2005-...ws/schutze.html

Although, "Kickback City" kind of limits the credibility of the article. Seems a bit extreme. But maybe not. I can't say how much of this is conscious on the part of DPD or CoD.

Edited by The Great Hizzy!

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Wow. So after the crime and the schools ran off the middle class, the cops and City Council are trying to run off the businesses, too?

The Dallas Observer deserves some blame here, though. Her Honor, Mayor Laura Miller, used to be an Observer reporter. Couldn't the Observer have warned us that she wasn't up to the job?

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I would also like to tell you shouldn't be bragging about how great Houston is when it faces the same problems Dallas does and in many ways worse problems. Such as in 2003 The New York Times Reported that the HISD is hiding its problems such as gang violence. They even found evidence that the school district was not reporting this violence to the police. Also in 2001 it was found that administrators in Houston reported that the dropout rate was much lower than it was. Because of this, there was recommedation that the school district should be labeled "unacceptable." True there has been improvements since then but there is no way it can be great now after being bad 3 years ago. Here are some true bragging rights for you from Men's Fitness:

In the comprehensive Superstudy of Sports Participation, only Miami and New Orleans residents participated less in sport activities than did people in Houston.

Houston ranked in the 10 markets where people watched the most TV, according to by Nielsen ratings.

What does Houston share in common with Los Angeles? Some of the worst air in the country . they're both in the bottom of the rankings, according to EPA indicators.

Whats even sadder is that Texas Medical Center is headquartered in Houston.

(gastric bypass must be 90% of the surgeries there or open heart surgery)

Even if Dallas is on the list, its not the fattest

Men's Fitness

Whats even more sad there's probably more problems , probably much more than Dallas

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I would also like to tell you shouldn't be bragging about how great Houston is when it faces the same problems Dallas does and in many ways worse problems. Such as in 2003 The New York Times Reported that the HISD is hiding its problems such as gang violence. They even found evidence that the school district was not reporting this violence to the police. Also in 2001 it was found that administrators in Houston reported that the dropout rate was much lower than it was. Because of this, there was recommedation that the school district should be labeled "unacceptable." True there has been improvements since then but there is no way it can be great now after being bad 3 years ago. Here are some true bragging rights for you from Men's Fitness:

In the comprehensive Superstudy of Sports Participation, only Miami and New Orleans residents participated less in sport activities than did people in Houston.

Houston ranked in the 10 markets where people watched the most TV, according to by Nielsen ratings.

What does Houston share in common with Los Angeles? Some of the worst air in the country . they're both in the bottom of the rankings, according to EPA indicators.

Whats even sadder is that Texas Medical Center is headquartered in Houston.

(gastric bypass must be 90% of the surgeries there or open heart surgery)

Even if Dallas is on the list, its not the fattest

Men's Fitness

Whats even more sad there's probably more problems , probably much more than Dallas

Wow. OK, then.

Let's get the basics out of the way first.

This thread is about Dallas. Not Houston. You have ignored one of the conditions in first post of this thread: "If the best you can do is get upset at the article, write to the Dallas Morning News."

Next, I refer you to one of our cardinal rules listed in post #2.

That being done-and you being the first to break both in your post-I will continue.

"I will contradict you"...I see this is your first post. Given that, I would be inclined to forgive you your lack of knowledge of your fellow posters in this forum.

But I'm not going to.

Why, you may ask?

You blindly have insulted one of our most thoughtful and intellegent members. If you had paused and given his posts some thought, perhaps you wouldn't have fallen off the meter as you clearly have done.

That being said, I find the inaccuracies in your rant too many to take the energy to reply to.

You have used "Men';s Fitness" as a reference guide.

"Men's Fitness"????

"Men's Fitness"????

But THEN-

You insulted intellegent dogs the world over.

I have known dogs.

I have worked with dogs.

You, my man, are no dog.

If you behave and stick around this forum long enough, you will see I am one of the more irritating members...but never-and I mean NEVER will you EVER see me dump on a fellow member as you have so shamelessly done today.

[...and you don't get a smily sunglassed face from me]

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This topic has been reported for violating forum rules against personal attacks and flame wars. Shouldn't have happened, especially since one moderator warning had already been posted.

The insults have been edited out and reopened at member's request. Keep it on topic please. If there are flamers ignore 'em or report 'em.

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Guest danax
I would also like to tell you shouldn't be bragging about how great Houston is when it faces the same problems Dallas does and in many ways worse problems.

Yawn........I re-read the previous posts and I didn't find anyone bragging about Houston.

I'm interested in Dallas' problems because they are the same as ours. Crime and low test scores resulting in unattractive schools and neighborhoods is nothing new. They're caused by residents, not cities, and trying to change the behavior of certain residents, either in school or in neighborhoods, is difficult at best. The best cities are the ones with the best residents.

I like Mayor Jerry Brown's approach in Oakland; be unabashed in attracting as much gentrification as possible and open military-like charter schools where nonsense is not tolerated. The victimization mentality where we dump more and more money into schools thinking these poor babies are not getting the same benefits as the richer school districts has been proven to be a losing approach, as indicated by the report mentioned above. If Abraham Lincoln can read by the light of a fireplace then inner-city kids can learn with slow computers. Crime? Too bad we couldn't just banish residents who commit crimes like they did in the olden days. We need to quit making excuses for people that just don't care.

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Thread reopened.

Report any violations of the above reminder to a moderator.

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Couldn't the Observer have warned us that she wasn't up to the job?

That's what Ken Hoffman thinks.

Edited by MidtownCoog

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This study was a good internal look at Dallas, but I hope any negative implications will not be taken out of context.

A few comments on this topic:

I see this "Tipping Point" article as an analysis of Dallas's growing pains. The articles may have implied decline in some cases, but I think it is more about transition. Dallas must transition from a new, increasingly expanding city into a continually maturing city that is constrained by its current boundaries and surrounded by thriving suburbs.

Dallas has little room for new growth (although there is some vacant land available in the southern sector). Instead, the city must transition to managing and further developing what it already has. This is a big transition for a city like Dallas (or Houston) to make. The city's future will be affected dramatically by how it handles this transition.

As for the negatives, the schools and police department have had their problems - not excusable, but not unique to Dallas either.

One of the main drivers is that the middle class is moving further and further out to the suburbs. This move was historically for the schools, but more recently involves a housing affordability factor as well. As a result the City of Dallas is increasingly losing its middle class.

Talk of decline implies that Dallas is becoming a low income haven. While there are a number of low income, working class areas in the city, there are also many well established, very high income areas.

In addition, much of the redevelopment that is occurring is targeting the upper incomes, excluding more and more of the middle incomes. Increasing home prices (along with concerns about schools) make living in the City difficult for middle income families. The risk is the city of Dallas becoming a strictly high income and low income community.

All in all, this is a good hard look at the City's challenges. While many are unique to Dallas' situation, many of these factors could apply to cities such as Houston as well. Hopefully both cities will learn and grow from the analysis.

Edited by TxDave

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