Five stories that have North Texas talking: Tree removal in Dallas exemplifies special session issue; South Korean pianist wins the 15th Cliburn; people protest Islamic law in Richardson; and more.
People were outraged after a developer butchered a slew of live oak trees on Forest Lane in northwest Dallas earlier this month.
The property owner, Platinum Construction based in Fate, Texas, did not file a tree removal permit with the city of Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reports. But, if Gov. Greg Abbott has his way in the special session, the city wouldn’t be involved.
Among the items for state lawmakers to tackle in July include deciding if cities like Dallas and Austin, which both have local tree ordinances in place, should continue what Abbott calls, “micromanaging what property owners do with trees on their private land.”
— Robert Wilonsky (@RobertWilonsky) June 9, 2017
The trees along Forest Lane, which are on the city’s protected list, are visible from Interstate 635 near Josey Lane. They were trimmed (likely to the point where they won't grow back) so the property would be visible from the highway instead, according to the Morning News.
As KUT reports, proponents of local ordinances say preservation rules enhance quality of life. Critics argue the rules inhibit development and increase construction costs. As for state lawmaker’s opposition, the issue centers on property rights. [The Dallas Morning News, KUT]
- In Dallas, big changes are coming to the city council after Saturday’s runoff elections. Three incumbents appear to have lost their seats, including Districts 6, 7 and 8, which represents a big shift on the 15-member body. As The Dallas Morning News reports, the results aren’t yet final, leaving some limited room for hope for the incumbents, though the likelihood of reversing the results seems low. The cause for delay is an ongoing investigation into potential voter fraud in the election. See more election results from races across North Texas. [KERA News]
- Protests against Islamic law were held across the country Saturday, including Richardson. Hundreds gathered around the Islamic Association in of North Texas for the “March Against Sharia.” Sharia law is a “legal or philosophical code derived from Islamic scripture and meant to guide the behavior of observant Muslims,” according to NPR. The nationwide protest was organized by ACT for America. The protest in Richardson was peaceful, The Dallas Morning News reports, but there were armed participants. [The Dallas Morning News]
- Yekwon Sunwoo took the gold medal at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The 28-year-old pianist from South Korea won $50,000 and three years of international bookings. For the last two and a half weeks in Fort Worth, Sunwoo had to give new performances nearly every other day. “There’s no one way or no perfection, so that you keep on trying to make the ideal music by really expressing every single detail that you want to do,” he said. Americans Kenneth Broberg and Daniel Hsu won silver and bronze medals, respectively. [KERA News]
- This fall, five male dancers – all Booker T. Washington High School graduates – are headed to Juilliard. The renowned fine arts school in New York City only accepts 12 male dancers each year. Both the Dallas arts magnet school and the college regard it is an unprecedented hallmark, Art&Seek reports. The “Fierce Five” include Kade Cummings, Ricardo Hartley, Todd Baker, Michael Garcia (all age 18) and 17-year-old Zane Unger. Getting into Juilliard was their dream, but it didn’t come without struggle. [Art&Seek]