Five stories that have North Texas talking: A children's group turns down money from the 'Tattooed Mommas,' an Election Night roundup (Fort Worth and Plano ISD voters approve their propositions), President Obama will be in Dallas today, and more.
The Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County won’t accept a $3,000 donation from the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas. Why? The proceeds come from a pin-up calendar featuring ladies in tattoos. The Dallas Observer reported on the issue on Tuesday. The Advocacy Center posted a note on Facebook, saying that the calendar could be “perceived by some as sexual in nature.” The center said that its mission is to “provide justice and healing for children who are the victims of sexual abuse.” The note concluded: “Unfortunately, we could not accept the proceeds of this pin up calendar's sales because of the calendar's possible perception, and not the hard working mothers who sponsored it." The Pirate Mommas never intended for the children's center to get bad publicity, but they are scratching their heads over this one. Stacy Willingham of Denton is a mother who happens to have arms filled with tattoos. She told KERA last night that people have been “overwhelmingly supportive” of her group and the message it’s trying to send. “We are moms, not models, who are bonded together for support and love, as we raise our children,” Willingham told KERA. “We’re not focused on what other people think about us. We’re too busy trying to make a difference to notice.” KERA has more on the story here.
- The votes have been counted: Tuesday was Election Day. Miguel Solis was elected to the Dallas ISD school board. He won with 66 percent of the vote, defeating opponent Kristi Lara. Fort Worth ISD voters approved three propositions that will improve facilities and instruction and offer pre-kindergarten to more children across the district. Arlington and Lewisville approved retail liquor sales. Plano ISD voters agreed to a 13-cent property tax hike. And all nine statewide propositions passed, including the high-profile Prop 6 that will use $2 billion in reserve funds to help Texas meet future water needs. Click here for highlights from KERA. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more on the Dallas ISD race.
- President Obama in town: President Barack Obama is expected to travel to Dallas today to push his health care initiative. Obamacare has been facing lots of criticism in recent weeks, so the president hopes to focus on success stories this week. He plans on thanking navigators, folks who are helping residents sign up for health care. He’ll visit Temple Emanu-El to meet with canvassers and navigators volunteering through Dallas Area Interfaith. Other administration officials are fanning out across the country to rally support. Obama will also be in Dallas to raise money at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser.
- A big gift for the DMA: The Dallas Museum of Art has announced an anonymous $9 million gift. The donation, over three years, will ensure free general admission to the museum and allow it to publish its collection online, museum officials announced Tuesday. It’s more than one-third the DMA’s annual $22 million budget. So this new anonymous gift is sizable – even if it’s not going toward something glamorous like a new wing. Instead, it’s a major affirmation of the new paths director Maxwell Anderson has taken the museum since coming to Dallas two years ago. $4 million will go to support his free admissions policy and the free membership program called DMA Friends. Both of these began this past January. KERA’s Jerome Weeks has more on Art&Seek.
- Honoring the mayor who revitalized Dallas after JFK’s killing: A new exhibit that opens Thursday celebrates Erik Jonsson, who became Dallas mayor shortly after Kennedy was assassinated. He worked to improve the image of the city in the years following the assassination. The Old Red Museum is opening an exhibit on Thursday that pays tribute to Jonsson. “Dream No Small Dreams: How Erik Jonsson Led Dallas From Tragedy to Triumph in the 1960s.” Jonsson co-founded Texas Instruments, serving as its president and chairman of the board. As mayor, he launched “Goals for Dallas,” which established goals to improve the city. “As a result, public schools were air-conditioned, the public library system was expanded, and a new city hall was constructed. Jonsson was also integral in the founding of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the University of Texas at Dallas.”