Mark Graham

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2014

    For the Couple Behind Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters, a Hobby Became a Full-Time Job

    All week, we're bringing you stories from Dallas' burgeoning roasting community. See other extended interviews in our coffee archive, or see them all in one place in this week's feature story, "Roasting Dallas." Every Saturday, Kevin and Mara Sprague get up before the sun and set up their tent, tab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2014

    The Independent Coffee Roasters Helping Dallas' Craft-Coffee Business Boom

    Like craft beer and chef-driven restaurants before it, specialty coffee is having its moment, finally, in Dallas: Davis Street Espresso, in Oak Cliff, has found that a lack of Wi-Fi and to-go cups has not meant a lack of customers. Ascension, in the Design District, hums all day, despite limited par ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2014

    From the Guys Behind Houndstooth, Tweed Coffee Is Lighting Up Dallas' Coffee Scene

    All week, we're bringing you stories from Dallas' burgeoning roasting community. Yesterday, we introduced you to the guy behind Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters. When it was announced, almost a year ago, that the original Pearl Cup coffee shop on Henderson Avenue would close, highly caffeinated tears were ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2014

    The Origins of Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters

    Shannon Neffendorf's entry into coffee roasting came out of selfish necessity. His job with Blockbuster (remember that) required work trips to Milan several times a year, and he soon found himself meeting with friends for cappuccino in the morning and taking a break for an espresso in the afternoon. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2014

    Five of Dallas' Best Places to Eat Gluten-Free, Because My Doctor Said So

    Story by Beth Erickson Do you want to hear a really sad story? It's all about the time when about four days before Christmas I ended up in the hospital and my doctor told me I couldn't have gluten (and a bunch of other really nice things like ice cream and mushrooms) if I wanted to not do something ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    The Best North Texas Venues that Opened in 2013

    North Texas already had more than its share of places to see live music. But it got a few notable additions in 2013, especially in Deep Ellum, where Three Links has wasted no time becoming a fixture and Twilite Lounge started to feel like it had been there for 50 years about three weeks after openin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2013

    25 Ways to Tell You Spend Too Much Time in Deep Ellum

    Deep Ellum is not the only place in where music happens in Dallas. But it is the most storied: It's where our blues scene found its legs and where Kurt Cobain found our fists. And today, the neighborhood is home to every kind of show, from one person with an acoustic guitar to touring metal bands on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2012

    North Texas Beers: A Guide

    Following North Texas' big win at the Great American Beer Fest, this week's cover story by Lauren Drewes Daniels profiles the rise of the DFW craft brew. To see what kind of growth we're talking about, Lauren's broken down each of the local brewers. Check it out below. Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. rahr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2012

    Snow Tha Product: The Human Alarm Clock

    In this week's Dallas Observer, we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here. Claudia Feliciano has lived in Fort Worth for the past three years, but she's flown under ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2012

    The Dallas People Issue: An Introduction

    Skip the throat-clearing and jump right to the People Issue. If you hang around in the Observer's orbit in the coming days, or if you happen to glance at the newsstand in your favorite bar, you'll notice we're offering something a little different this week: our first-annual People Issue. Given th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2011

    Twenty-Four Years After She Was Left to Die, Peggy Railey, Wife of Walker, Is Gone

    ​In 1989, two years after the attack that left her in a vegetative state, People described Peggy Railey's existence as "death-in-life." Our Mark Graham documented as much years later when he visited her in the Tyler nursing home where she has spent the last two decades; today, he told me, spending ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2011

    What the 53 Layoffs in Dallas Animal Services Will Mean as City Reorganizes the Department

    Photo by Mark Graham​Straight off, City Hall spokesman Frank Librio would like us to clarify something he told Anna yesterday: It's not that new Dallas Animal Services director Jody Jones isn't ready to handle media requests, as we noted, it's just that she's "focusing on operations at the moment ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2011

    Mayor Mike's Dinner With Council Ain't Open

    Photo by Mark Graham​A couple of times, including this morning, we've noted that Mayor Mike Rawlings has scheduled a dinner with the entire city council on Tuesday, which has prompted a few Friends of Unfair Park to wonder: Like, isn't that a violation of the state's Open Meetings Act? Technically ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2011

    Mayor Mike's Dinner With Council Conflicts With Gas Drilling Task Force Public Hearing

    Photo by Mark Graham​Mayor Mike Rawlings's office confirms: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on August 2 he's throwing a dinner for the city council -- a sort-of get-to-know-me BBQ-flavored wingding in advance of the council getting back to work. Problem is, that conflicts with one of only two public hearin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2011

    "Let's Focus on Great Expectations, Not our Limitations": Mayor Mike's Inaugural Speech

    Photo by Mark Graham​Leslie's already summed up Mayor Mike's first-ever official speech as Dallas mayor, which was given at this morning's swearing-in of the new council. And she's up shortly with a recap from the ad hoc gas drilling committee vote, which took a bit of a twist; she'll let Scott Gr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2011

    Dickey's So Angry About Redistricting Map She Wants Texas Attorney General, DOJ to Intervene

    Photo by Mark GrahamMaurine Dickey​No doubt you recall Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey's blow-up over that redistricting map sprung on her during commissioners court a couple of weeks back. Long story short: She'd agreed to one map, only to have John Wiley Price give her, at the last sec ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Months After Hanschen Was Chased Off Bench, New Child Support Law Says: He Was Right

    Mark GrahamJudge David Hanschen's controversial child support rulings are vindicated by new state law. ​The state Legislature addressed Texas's baby-mama drama this session when, on May 12, Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that immediately relieves men determined not to be the biological father o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Jenkins on Dickey's Decision to Get Back to BBQ

    Photo by Mark Graham​Maurine Dickey's decided two terms as Dallas County Commissioner is plenty; can't really blame her. So it's back to the family business -- barbecue, but of course.  Which is why, moments ago, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins just sent to media this not-exactly-tear-staine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2011

    Kunkle Wants Dallas to Become "No-Kill City"

    Mark GrahamLieutenant Scott Walton, interim division manager at Dallas Animal Services​The myriad issues with the Dallas Animal Services have been well chronicled, especially in our January cover story on the shelter, which described the conflicting mindsets there thusly: "The old dog catcher ment ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2011

    State Rep. Johnson "Cannot Stand" For Wiping Out Re-Entry Program, Homeless Help Funds

    Mark GrahamMetro Dallas Homeless Alliance President and CEO Mike Faenza at The Bridge, which could lose $1 million annually in state funds in budget cuts​Aside from those education cuts, there's also the very real possibility that the state will do away with the Project Reintegration of Offenders ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2010

    Community Gardeners Pledge To Keep Growing Despite "Disappointing" City Regulations

    Photo By Mark GrahamMariana Griggs vows to continue her renegade gardening.​The City's slow move against community gardening continues, as evidenced by the latest set of do's-and-don'ts -- the sixth try at this -- given the green-thumbs-up by the council's Transportation and Environment Committee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2010

    Will Dallas Police, Sheriff's Department Taking Prostitutes' DNA Make a Difference?

    Mark GrahamOfficers bring women arrested for solicitation to the command post set up just off Interstate 20. ​There is a massive (like, so big you kind of can't even imagine it) difference between what we often imagine sex work to be, based on romanticized programs like Secret Diary of a Call Girl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2010

    Clear Channel Makes It Official: Russ Martin to Return to The Eagle on July 12

    Mark Graham​'Bout one month ago today, over on Sportatorium, Richie called it: Russ Martin would be taking over as morning-show host on KEGL-FM (97.1) some time this month. J.D. Freeman, Clear Channel's market manager, just made it official: The one-time Observer cover boy begins July 12 at 6 a.m. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2010

    At Noon Tomorrow, The "Poor People's March" On City Hall to Protest Expected Budget Cuts

    Mark GrahamJohn Fullinwider​A "poor people's march" at Dallas City Halll at noon tomorrow will kick off a campaign of protests aimed primarily at Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. Veteran community activists blame Leppert's political ambitions for what they insist is a one-sided assault on city programs f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2010

    DISD Superintendent Hinojosa's In D.C. This Morning Testifying Before Senate

    Mark Graham​I can tell you one person who won't be at that Jubilee Park meeting at DISD HQ taking place right now: DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who's testifying right now in Washington, D.C., in front of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee about the reauthorizatio ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2010

    Watkins to Texas Tribune: "If You Throw Punches at Us, We'll Drop a Bomb on You"

    Mark Graham​While he's been dodging us and other local media outlets, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins apparently had no qualms about granting an interview to former DMN'er Emily Ramshaw, who profiled his November race against Republican candidate Danny Clancy for the Texas Tribun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2010

    In One Day, Dallas Loses Two Cultural Figures: Kim Dawson and Ted Pillsbury

    Mark GrahamTed Pillsbury in a 2006 photo taken when he went to work for Heritage Auction Gallery​Late last night word spread that Kim Dawson, the model-turned-modeling-agency brand name, died at the age of 85 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Dawson, of course, is credited with having discover ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2009

    The Year/The Decade: Best Restaurateurs

    Mark GrahamTristan Simon, circa 2003, when everything was in black and white.​Diners generally care more about the chef than the restaurant owner. After all, you visit Nana for Anthony Bombaci's brilliant touch rather than for decisions made in some distant Hilton boardroom.Yet the best restaurate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2009

    Before OK'ing New Report Card for Superintendent, Trustees Alter Criteria

    Mark GrahamDISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa​A couple of weeks ago we noticed that the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees was considering a new "Superintendent Evaluation Instrument," which broke down the criteria into three separate categories: "student achievement," "sound ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2009

    Neftali Feliz: Deal or No Deal?

    Mark GrahamShould Feliz and his 100 mph-plus heater be headed to Arlington or Toronto?While Ian Kinsler's bat - the first player with both a lead-off and walk-off homer in the same game - last night gave the Texas Rangers a momentary pulse, let's talk about the future of a dominant arm down on the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2009

    After Years of Trying, Mother Can Sue State Over Son's Abuse at Denton State School

    Mark GrahamBefore Haseeb Chishty was released from the Denton State School last year, his mother Farhat visited him nearly every day.Last year, Jesse Hyde wrote several stories for the Dallas Observer and Unfair Park about Farhat Chishty's quest for justice for her son Haseeb, who, till last fall, h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2009

    Magnet Schools? Learning Centers? Great Ideas. So Of Course DISD Wants to Cut Them.

    Mark GrahamDISD Superintendent Michael HinojosaThe Dallas Independent School District board of trustees seems to be moving toward Draconian cuts in staff and budget for the district's two most distinctive programs, magnet schools and learning centers. The board appears likely to acquiesce to the urg ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2008

    A Crusader for the Mentally Disabled Has Mixed Feelings Over DOJ Report

    Mark Graham Haseeb Chishty On Tuesday night, Farhat Chishty got the news: The U.S. Department of Justice, after months of investigating, had completed a scathing report on the Texas State Schools for the disabled and was threatening to sue the state for violating residents' constitutional rights. C ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2008

    Dallas: On the Most Bang For the Buck Meter, We Come In At the No. 7 Spot

    Mark Graham So says Forbes today, which is tremendous news as, once more on this free-fall Friday, the Dow Jones Industrials threatens to drop past the 8,000-point mark. Several factors went into the ranking -- job growth projections, inflation, median house price, median household income, cost of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2008
  • Blogs

    August 11, 2008

    Harris County GOP Boss Says Fred Baron's Money is "Tainted"

    Mark Graham Fred Baron Moments ago, the Houston Chronicle reported that John Edwards has decided to, like, pass on delivering his speech to the Harris County Democratic Party during its September 20 fund-raising gala. Cannot imagine why. Also noted in the story: Harris County Republican Chairman Ja ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2008

    Ride 'Em, Jewboy, Part Two: Kinky Friedman Mulls Yet Another Run at Guv

    This morning, the missus called from the road: "Kinky's on KRLD, talking about how he's going to run for governor again in 2010 -- as a Democrat." And, sure enough, that's just what he said -- needs, oh, $3 to $5 million, far as he figures. And over on KRLD-AM's Web site, they're running a poll to s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2008

    Fashion Tips, Prom Advice, Period Planning and Transgender Talk

    Mark Graham High school sweethearts Amber Burden and Jacoby James A few months ago, I got a call from an editor at Seventeen who‘d come across a story I wrote for the paper version of Unfair Park about a female-to-male transgender teen who began living as a boy while attending an Irving high scho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2008

    Kerry Max Cook, From Wrongly Imprisoned to Rightfully Nominated

    Mark Graham In more Plano-based author news: Kerry Max Cook -- the innocent man imprisoned for 16 years for a horrific crime he didn't commit -- has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America's prestigious Edgar Award, for his book Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After Two Decad ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2008

    Dallas Dems Donkying Up the Dough

    Mark Graham Attorney Fred Baron, Dallas Dems' fave bread-maker The Houston Chronicle this morning tallies up the state's biggest political donors in 2007 -- "a year in which there were no high-profile races and only a few constitutional amendments on the ballot" -- and second only to Houston home b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2007

    Sitting in With "Our Man Downtown"

    Mark Graham Not much early blogging today: I'm scheduled to appear on Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price's radio show at 8 a.m.: Liberation Nation, sitting at KNON-FM (89.3) on your transistor's tuner. The subject: this week's cover story, about architect William Sidney Pittman and his Kn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2007

    Special Olympics' "Renegade" Coach

    Mark Graham Steve Fleming, the former Special Olympics coach, laments the state of Lewisville's delegation since his dismissal. The current issue of Sports Illustrated has a story on Steve Fleming, the firebrand Lewisville coach who tried to change the nature of the Special Olympics and was kicked ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2007

    The NYT Loves Fort Worth's Museums, But Not Its Restaurants

    Early last week in The New York Times, Mimi Swartz described her love-hate relationship with Dallas. Today in The Times, Richard Woodward describes his love-love relationship with Fort Worth -- specifically, its myriad art museums. But, as Woodward writes, the food in Cowtown ain't so hot: "If the a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2007

    Mexican Consulate Comes to Garland to Counsel Day Laborers

    Mark Graham Workers, most of them immigrants from Mexico, wait at the Garland Day Labor Center for contractors to pick them up. Late last year, when members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps visited the Garland Day Labor Center with binoculars and videocameras, they triggered a small labor movem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2006

    Watkins: "I Enjoy Manipulating the Government." Oh, Really?

    Mark Graham A month before the election, Craig Watkins took off his law firm's Web site a page proclaiming his desire to defend his clients "by any means necessary." Man, I really wish I hadn't thrown away all that campaign junk mail that filled my mailbox in the past few weeks. Apparently, buri ... More >>

  • News

    September 30, 2004


    To boldly go where many have ralphed before

  • News

    May 13, 2004

    20 Bands 7 Days

    For one week, Sarah Hepola saw every band that invited her. God help her.

  • News

    September 18, 1997
  • News

    December 5, 1996
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