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Lighting improvements are on their way to South Dallas as the DCC finally approved Major Johnson’s proposal according to a Dallas Morning News article from October 21 which reports, 

“Dallas City Council unanimously approved last week Johnson’s proposal to add $500,000 in lighting improvements to the area. The funds will be used to install 76 new lights along key corridors in the community.

“We are putting public safety first and getting back to basics in Dallas — and to do so, we are leaving no stone unturned,” Johnson said in a news release. “These lighting upgrades can help make our wonderful South Dallas community safer while also creating the conditions necessary for our residents and businesses to thrive in the years ahead.”

The approval of the proposed plan was made possible by the TIF District which greatly needed a reorganization and restructuring of its streets and neighborhoods as it is the location of key landmarks according to a Medium article from October 13 which reports, 

“The TIF District — which is composed of neighborhoods south of Fair Park — was created in 2005, but had yet to help fund a single project. According to its 2019–2020 annual report, the TIF District “exhibits deteriorated structures, inadequate sidewalks, and streets, faulty lot layouts, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, and deteriorated site improvements.” Those issues, the report continues, “substantially arrest or impair the sound growth of the City and property within the area.”

But the area also includes assets such as its strong historic neighborhoods, the MLK Library and Community Center, a Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail station, and its proximity to Fair Park, which is undergoing a revitalization.”

The estimated completion of the project is on June 2022 however, it is anticipated that the completion will be delayed since the materials could take longer to arrive in South Dallas.

A plan for a rapid transit system in Dallas was proposed to cut down on transportation problems such as traffic congestion, toll prices, and new construction. A Fort-Worth Star Telegram article from October 21 reports, 

“The team came up with a proposal to run high-speed transit along the Interstate 30 corridor and narrowed possible technologies to high-speed rail or the hyperloop, a system of tubes through which a vehicle can travel almost without friction.

The team has been sharing the results of the first phase of its $15 million study at public meetings throughout North Texas.

“We can’t just build our way out of congestion,” said Brandon Wheeler, principal transportation manager at the Council of Governments. “We can’t just add lanes to freeways.”

This proposed rapid transit system will have three stations according to a Dallas Innovates article from October 14 which reports, 

“In Dallas, a new rail station for the high-speed Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth line would be built near and tie into the proposed Texas Central bullet train station, just south of the Dallas Convention Center in the Cedars neighborhood. Two potential Dallas station sites are shown below in orange, north, and south of the orange Texas Central station location.

In Fort Worth, the study team’s primary proposed location is Trinity Metro’s existing Central Station along I-35W downtown. But six other downtown-area sites are also being explored.

For the midpoint Arlington stop, three potential station locations are being explored between Six Flags Over Texas and Collins Street.”

In a Facebook post, many people expressed their excitement about the future transit system for FW and Dallas. One said,

“This plan will be absolutely wonderful in helping to reduce car traffic, road congestion, air pollution, and parking hassles as DFW continues to grow rapidly!”

Another said, 

“Cool, valuable, important technological stuff takes time and money. I hope it happens and benefits the community!”

However, one noted that there are still problems to be addressed,

“Great but getting to your place of employment can take hours.. poor transportation within cities.”

Excitingly indeed, another rapid transit system is also in the works as studies for it will be conducted in the next few months. If the project is completed, it will be called the Texas Central bullet train line between Dallas and Houston.

The 2021 Texas State Fair was a massive success, receiving 2.2 million visitors, and as can be expected there was a good deal of excess food and drink from concession stands and food vendors, much of which is being donated back to the community. A Fox 4 DFW article from October 19 reports,  

“Some of the fair’s food and drink vendors gave what they had left to the State Fair Cares Initiative.

Items used in fried treats like flour, peanut butter, fruits, and vegetables are all staples needed by local food pantries. 

This was the sixth year for the State Fair Cares Initiative.”

Several community organizations which focus on the people and families affected by the pandemic will be the recipient of the said food and drinks according to an NBC 5 DFW article from October 18 which reports, 

“This year, seven community organizations in the Fair Park neighborhood were the beneficiaries. Many of them have increased needs since the start of the pandemic.

“We’re not only feeding the homeless,” Rev. Andra Johnson of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Dallas said. “We’re also feeding families and different individuals that lost income during this time, lost jobs.”

“We feed people 24 days out of the year for a profit, for money as a business, but now we’re doing it out of the goodness of our hearts and just trying to help them out,” Erpillo said. “And we’re seeing, like, tangible results of what we can do when we all band together to help the people in Dallas.”

The Texas State Fair was indeed a big success for all involved as organizers were able to achieve their target, fairgoers were able to take a breather amidst the pandemic and those in need were not forgotten.

The Texas State Fair has surpassed the expectations of both officials and fairgoers’ after multiple record-breaking achievements in its 2021 reopening according to a Fox 4 DFW article from October 19 which reports,

“Fair officials announced more than 2.2 million people attended the fair in 2021 during its 24-day run, which ended Sunday.

The 2020 fair didn’t take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was replaced with a sized-down drive-thru version that attracted about 50,000 people in vehicles. About 2.5 million people attended in 2019.”

With the pandemic lingering on, officials of the Texas State Fair took great caution and care for the fairgoers according to a Dallas Morning News article from October 17 which says,

“The emphasis for 2021′s run was public health, including requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for about 2,000 employees, encouraging practices that slow the transmission of the disease and using incentives to try to spread crowds more evenly across weekdays and weekends.”

A Kicker 102. 5 article from October 18 listed several impressive feats, including the following:

  • “The State Fair welcomed more than 2.2 million fairgoers through the gates.
  • More than 1,000 COVID-19 shots were administered to fairgoers by Dallas County Health Department.
  • More than 80,000 pounds of pure cane sugar was used to make State Fair Cotton Candy during the Fair.
  • More than 360,000 plush prizes, valued at more than $1 million were won on the State Fair Midway.
  • More than 130,000 fans were in attendance for the State Fair Classic and the AT&T Red River Showdown, at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium during the Fair.
  • Nearly 1.84 million free admission tickets were given to students throughout North Texas. In addition, more than 270,000 teachers received a voucher for free admission.”

The success of the State Fair Texas is also a huge victory for officials as they primarily aimed to donate the earnings to student scholarships in Texas.

Commuters will now have an option to take a nonstop bus service from RedCoach according to a Statesman News Network article from October 20. In it they say,

“A Florida-based luxury bus operator is riding into Texas, where it is offering nonstop service in Austin, College Station, Dallas, Houston, and Waco.

Similar to airline industry pricing, RedCoach uses a dynamic pricing model, with rates based on a variety of factors, including demand. The company said fares start as low as $25, while the maximum price is $60 for a one-way trip and $120 for roundtrip.”

The routes where RedCoach will be taking were listed in an article by CultureMap Dallas from October 18. 

“RedCoach’s nonstop routes in Texas connect:

  • Dallas with Austin, College Station, Houston, and Waco.
  • Austin with Dallas, Houston, and Waco.
  • College Station with Dallas and Houston.
  • Houston with Austin, College Station, Dallas, and Waco.
  • Waco with Austin, Dallas, and Houston.


Here are RedCoach’s pickup and drop-off points in Texas:

  • Dallas — Curbside adjacent to Café Herrera and Omni Dallas Hotel entrance, 593 S. Lamar St.
  • Austin — Embassy Suites by Hilton, 300 S. Congress Ave.
  • College Station — Texas A&M University’s Wisenbaker Engineering Building, 188 Bizzell St.
  • Houston — Residence Inn Houston Downtown/Convention Center, 904 Dallas St.
  • Waco — Tiger Mart, 1020 S. Fifth St.”


Each bus is complete with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, onboard entertainment, power outlets, and free snacks and water, making the nonstop ride with RedCoach a luxurious and satisfying experience.

Mark Cuban recently helped a Dallas County program that focuses on keeping people with mental illnesses out of jail for low-level offenses according to a Dallas Morning News article from October 19. They say, 

“The program, Dallas Deflects, is the result of a partnership between the district attorney’s office, Parkland Health & Hospital System, the Dallas Police Department, and Homeward Bound, among other partners.

At a Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday, Cuban was recognized with a resolution noting his involvement with the program. Cuban did not attend the meeting but said via email he “just felt it was the right thing to do.”

District Attorney John Creuzot posted a short message to Mark Cuban on his Facebook page which garnered hundreds of likes and loves from different people. He said,

“We are grateful that Mark Cuban supports this vital program.”

Judge Clay Jenkins also recognized Cuban’s efforts and retweeted the latter’s recognition which likewise garnered hundreds of likes. Many commented their praise and admiration for Cuban in the said tweet. One said,

“This guy is the real deal

Another quoted the tweeted,

“Thank you Mark. #MarkCuban #MentalHealthMatters” 

Mark Cuban Foundation donated $277,000 which will help provide security for on-site housing during the program’s first three years. Earlier this year, the Mavericks and Cuban donated $1.25 million for the Dallas Mayor’s fund to help people for the winter storm relief.

The Dallas VideoFest has commenced its culminating event week after entertaining and giving love to the Dallas community for 3 decades according to a DMagazine article from September 30, 

“Last night, VideoFest kicked off the beginning of the end with an event suited to the outsized role the festival has played in the Dallas film community over the past 35 years.

The night presented three core elements of VideoFest’s programmatic DNA: an appreciation for the history and evolution of visual media; an ambition for creating new ways of experiencing visual art; and a mission to nurture and celebrate Dallas’ artistic community. It was a bittersweet evening. After this weekend’s slate of documentaries, VideoFest’s long run as the city’s most ambitious and exciting film festival will come to an end.”

Prior to the culminating night showed-off different videos and films, it was already known to many that this year would be the final strand of the visionary VideoFest according to a Dallas Observer article from September 28 which reported,  

“Bart Weiss, the founder of Dallas VideoFest, announced over the summer that the 34th annual media festival would be the last. He said he felt it was time to retire the annual film gathering because of the changing landscape of media and availability of independent TV and cinema since the first VideoFest in 1986.

“A lot of what we set out to do was seeing things that are beyond the margin, just going beyond the first six pages on Netflix to find something more interesting,” Weiss says. “Right now on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, and certainly on the Criterion Channel, are things that we would’ve been interesting in showing or things we have shown.”

Details regarding the event were provided in a Dallas Morning News article from September 29 which reported, 

“DocuFest runs Sept. 29-Oct. 3 at Texas Theatre, the Angelika and the Forum Country Club in Richardson. Passes, $20-$70. Tickets to individual screenings, $10-$15.”

While it is indeed sad to see the Dallas VideoFest say goodbye to the community, we should remember the entertainment and joy it brought to us for 35 years. Not only did it change the way we saw films but it also helped bring different and independent works that helped artists and directors alike to express their passion and talent.

Trial runs in the DFW Airport are being conducted for their new fast pass implementation according to a CBS DFW article from September 22 which reports, 

“The Fast Pass lets travelers go online and reserve a specific time to go through security. They still have to have to scan their bags and take off their shoes and belts, but it advances them past any long waits on busy days.

The pass is part of a series of improvements at the airport to make the travel experience more hassle-free. Travelers can pre-book parking at discounted rates, check-in and pay for bags in advance, but the security wait can be unpredictable.”

However, the Fast Pass is a separate and distinct program from the other programs that allow travelers to save time according to a Dallas Morning News article from September 22,

“There are many programs that allow customers to go through shorter checkpoint lines to get TSA screenings. Programs such as TSA PreCheck allow passengers to enroll in a government program and skip some security protocols, such as taking off shoes, belts, and jackets. With PreCheck, passengers pay $85 for the five-year program and have to pass a background check.

Then there are programs like Clear, a privately run security screening process that again lets customers go through an expedited line and check-in through a biometric screening kiosk.”

Additional instructions regarding the Fast Pass program were posted on DFW Airport’s website, which states,

“No costs or membership fees

Reservations are limited so please book ahead of time. Reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance of your flight

Please limit each reservation to a maximum of 10 people. Parties of more than 10 will need additional reservations

Please check with your airline to ensure they offer a ticket counter in Terminal D for local check-in/baggage check at the time of your reservation

If you check-in from home or remotely and already have your boarding pass with no checked bags and do not require an airline ticket counter, DFW’s Skylink train connects ALL 5 terminals.”

To encourage travelers to participate in the trial run, DFW Airport will be giving away $5 food vouchers. The program, however, is only an experiment and no further updates have been released as to whether Fast Pass will remain as a permanent program. 

Brilliance and power emanated from the concert hall with the opening of the Dallas Symphony’s season with its renowned music director according to a Texas Classical Review article from September 17,

“After a pandemic year of chamber orchestra performances, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra opened its 2021-2022 season in full force Thursday night at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Led by music director Fabio Luisi,  the program offered a strong return to form and the kind of familiar brilliance not heard in the hall since March of last year.”

The program was opened with a performance of a composition by Frederick Converse inspired by Walt Whitman, according to a Dallas Morning News article from September 17 which reported, 

Frederick Converse (1871-1940) was part of a constellation of mostly German-trained American composers clustered around Boston in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Composed in 1904, The Mystic Trumpeter is a 20-minute tone poem in five connected sections, inspired by Walt Whitman’s eponymous poem.

Both poem and music imagine a disembodied trumpeter and a dreamy, romantic one, but also a caller to war and a celebrant. Strauss was conducting the opera in Munich when Converse was studying there, and one wonders how much of the German composer’s work the American heard. Certainly, there’s much of Strauss in this real showpiece — the dramatic flair, the succulent harmonies, the textural and coloristic riches.”

Attendees of the opening season could only express their praise and amazement as they commented on the Orchestra’s Facebook post. One commented,

“Amazing Maestro! Brilliant Orchestra! Please record this concert and bring musical joy to the listeners from Europe!”

Another woman commented,

“Brilliant opening weekend program! Bravo, DSO, Maestro Luisi, AND magnificent organist, Bradley Welch!”

Fabio Luisi and the whole orchestra were able to put on a brilliant opening show, proving Luisi’s promise to make music with passion and conviction. As such many people are very excited to watch the DSO perform under the direction and influence of a renowned music director who has a great reputation on the world stage.

New protocols have been established as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra welcomes back audiences to watch their performance for their 2021-2022 season according to a Dallas Morning News article from August 31, which reports,

“The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will mandate masks and initially limit audience capacity in the Meyerson Symphony Center to 60-70%. The orchestra, in full force this season, will continue using the stage extension added last year during the pandemic to allow for greater social distancing. All musicians and staff have been vaccinated.”

One of the first line-ups, Coco, will begin its 3-day concert from September 3 according to a Dallas Observer article from August 30 which reports, 

“A fiesta of culture, color, and sound will soon take center stage at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Kicking off its 2021-2022 season, the DSO will spotlight Disney’s animated film Coco, Sept. 3–5 at the Meyerson Symphony Center (2301 Flora St.). The concert, directed by Jayce Ogren, is just one of the productions celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Further into next month, one of the concert line-ups will honor the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg according to an Opera Wire article from September 3. In it they say, 

“The concert, set to take place on Oct. 7, 2021, will feature the world premiere of a new work by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The work includes texts by Lauren K. Watel and will feature mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and pianist Jeffrey Biegel, who conceived the idea for the commission back in Oct. 2020.

“The movement titles: Act I, Act II, and Act III reflect the 3 stages in the voyage of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s remarkable professional life,” said Zwilich in program notes for the work. “Act I is about her arrival at that metaphorical house with dropped ceilings, bolted doors, women in corners and on pedestals… Act II is about her actively taking on the problems of that metaphorical house, from tearing down the dropped ceilings to helping women come down from pedestals. Act II highlights her continuing drive to make things better for all. Act III is about her legacy.” 

The launch of the new season for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is indeed an inviting time to enjoy music, art, and life itself.

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