We know you're busy, so here's a roundup of the week's events from the news desk of the Dallas Observer.
At an impromptu press conference at the Omni Dallas, Rawlings said he was “deeply distressed” at the ongoing situation at the airport, where 50 travelers became detainees that day. “This is just not good for our city,” he said. “It’s not good for our state. This is a welcoming place. We want you here.”
Dallas Had the Worst Big City Mayoral Election Turnout in the U.S. in 2015
The votes in the city election were highly concentrated both by age and geography, giving Dallas’ oldest residents disproportionate influence in city elections, according to the study.
New Study Reveals Concrete Effects of Texas’ Repealed Anti-Abortion Law
Data from the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project reveals just how drastically Texas’ anti-abortion law, House Bill 2, has limited access to abortion in the state, despite the United States Supreme Court striking down two of the law’s three major components.
After Mediation Fails, Dallas Police Pension Fight Heads Back to Austin
Thursday afternoon, ahead of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ testimony in Austin in front of the Texas Pension Review Board, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution calling on the four council members who sit on the pension board to exercise any legal means necessary to steer the pension away from insolvency.
The problem at Fair Park has always been that the State Fair is supposed to be a tenant of the park, but it acts like it owns the place and rides roughshod over the park board. Well, that’s one problem. The other problem is that the park board enjoys being ridden roughshod over. I can’t explain that. I think it’s a spanking issue. I said weird, right?
— Jim Schutze, from “Park Board Thinks Asking State Fair Tough Questions Is ‘Embarrassing'”
Texas Mourns Death of a Moonwalker
The Texas flag is at half-staff today, Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Former U.S. Navy Captain Gene Cernan passed away on January 16, 2017. As an astronaut, Captain Cernan played an important role in the exploration of space and in the development of the aerospace industry in Texas. He was the last man to set foot on the moon and his final resting place will be in the Texas State Cemetery. As such, it seems fitting that flags in Texas should be flown at half-staff on the day of his interment.
County Flu Buries Two
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Grim Numbers Prompt State Grants for STEM
A new $5 million grant from the Texas Education Agency. Approximately half of the grant will be used to fund 29 computer science collaboratives around the state to provide direct training and support for teachers in their region. They describe the problem in the state with some dated but still stark stats:
Only 2 percent of Texas high school graduates completed a computer science class in 2015, even though 60 percent of today’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs are in computing, according to the Texas Education Agency. One of the issues is that few Texas teachers are certified to teach computer science. For example, in 2014-15, pre-service teacher preparation programs produced only 14 computer science teachers in the entire state.