No Homes for the Homeless, Again

Though they have nothing to do with the homeless, a Craig Miller (at left) catchphrase has apparently entered the DPD lexicon.

There's a piece in Dallas' Only Daily this a.m. about how Bill Blaydes helped kill a proposed homes-for-the-homeless complex in Lake Highlands, on the site where the Jules E. Muchert Army Reserve Center stands for the next two years or so. You can read that piece and one earlier in the week that suggested today's news was more or less inevitable.

Sharon Boyd made the call earlier this week, in a DallasArena item in which she also mentioned that it was Blaydes who led the charge to "put the city's multi-million dollar street bum hotel on Harry Hines in the old Health South complex." (Multi-Million Dollar Street Bum Hotel was, amazingly, the name of my first album in the late 1970s -- a very, uh, progressive piece of work.) Sharon, wielding the sword of subtlety, just loved the irony of Blades having to fight off a homeless shelter in his own backyard after trying to stick one in Steve Salazar and Mitchell Rasansky's neighborhood in 2005-ish.

But my favorite part of Sharon's piece has little to do any of this debate over the homeless shelter. Rather, it has to do with crime and Craig Miller, pictured at right. It's after the jump -- and, yes, there is so a KTCK-AM reference forthcoming, so follow at your own peril.

Anyway, so Sharon lives in Northwest Dallas -- so do some Unfair Parkers, matter of fact. And she couldn't stand the idea of having a shelter in the neighborhood. She was pissed that "Councilman Blaydes was hell bent to move the street bums from Downtown to the Northwest Highway/Bachman Lake area."

The reason: "Northwest Dallas is saturated with aging, over-populated and under-maintained apartment complexes." Sharon writes, and we can't argue with her there. Those aren't fireworks coming over the horizon every night -- those pop-pop-pop-pop-pops that jolt us outta bed at 2:12 a.m. once every few days. Those apartments on Northwest Highway near Webb Chapel Road used to be the symbol of swingin' '70s prosperity; they were populated by flight attendants zipping in and outta Love Field and the businessmen who blew into town for a few days of go-go-dancin' or whatever it is the older folks did for fun in the 1970s.

Now, of course, they're overcrowded, low-rent-no-deposit-down tenaments stuck in the middle of nowhere; we've mentioned this before, so no reason to go into it again.

Which brings me to the best part of Sharon's post from earlier this week. Which reads as follows:

At a Bachman area crime watch meeting recently, a police officer referred to our apartment glut as the "sardine factor". No one in the room had to ask him to explain. Were he to make the same comment at a Lake Highlands community meeting, the attendees would also know exactly what he meant.

You're kidding me. If, like me, you're a fan of The Ticket and morning-show host Craig Miller, you've known this phrase "sardine factor" forever. It means just what it says: When you have a ton of people crammed into tiny living quarters, they're eventually gonna go crazy or kill each other. Miller uses the phrase all the time, and his co-hosts George Dunham and Gordon Keith laugh at him every time he does. It's a funny little phrase to describe a pretty prescient sociological observation.

But now, a Ticket phrase has entered the DPD lexicon to describe crime and its causes. They don't call Craig "The Professor" for nothing, I guess. --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky