Monday, January 9, 2017

A landmark West Dallas farmhouse faces an uncertain future


Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News reports on a piece of Dallas history about to be lost to time, unless the community steps up.

The Victorian farmhouse shown here, located at 1923 N. Edgefield, is one of the oldest homes in the area, and holds some historical significance. for it to survive, however, it needs to be moved.

The Dallas Morning News provides details.
It was built around 1890 and, shortly after, became the home of German immigrants Heinrich and Anna Struck, who, according to the state historical marker planted at the nearby Western Heights Cemetery, were early Dallas pioneers. And it appears it was once a centerpiece of a 43-acre housing development — the first of its kind west of downtown — assembled by the man known, correctly or otherwise, as Dallas' first architect.
That very brief and vague history — which, at present, comes with one significant question mark — has preservationists scrambling to save the house that an unnamed developer eyeing the land wants to vanish in order to build townhomes in a West Dallas neighborhood that, as of now, has no multi-family housing of any kind. This week the recently formed Dallas Endowment for Endangered Properties, which hopes to buy and preserve what remains of this city's fast-vanishing history, has been sounding the social-media alarm bells in the hopes of raising enough money to move the house from a quiet stretch of North Edgefield Avenue, between Commerce Street and Fort Worth Avenue, to five acres in Oak Cliff awaiting its arrival. The clock is running -- three months and counting, tick, tock.
To find out more about the home, click right here to visit the Dallas Morning News.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Talking Latinos and the GOP with The Dallas Morning News


After the Vice Presidential debate last week, I spoke with the Dallas Morning News about the fallout from Mike Pence's "Mexican Thing" comment. I discussed how a careless remark takes on added meaning and scrutiny in the age of Donald Trump.

You can read the article by clicking right here.









Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SMU to honor fallen Dallas police officers


The NFL would not allow the Dallas Cowboys to wear a sticker on their helmet to honor the five Dallas police officers killed in an ambush in July, so Southern Methodist University in Dallas is standing up to say "Blue Lives Matter."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My appearance on the Terry Lowry Show 7/7/16

Last week (July 7), I appeared on the Terry Lowry Radio Show, and discussed the gun control social media campaign employed by President Obama's Organizing for Action, and how the Republican response is woefully inept. You can find out more about the Terry Lowry show at www.terrylowry.com. You can listen to the segment below:




Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Discussing Ann Coulter and the fall of the GOP on The Kevin Jackson Radio Show


During my appearance on the March 15 edition of The Kevin Jackson Radio Show (click here to see if a station near you carries the show), Kevin and I discussed Ann Coulter's recent attack on Ted Cruz. I discussed how her actions are indicative of a disturbing trend among high-profile "conservatives" putting personal ambition and publicity ahead of principle. You can listen to our segment below:

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My February 16th appearance on the Kevin Jackson radio show


During my appearance last week (February 16) on Fox News contributor Kevin Jackson's radio show, we discussed the absurdity of Kanye West and his $50 million debt. You can listen to our radio segment below:


 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Talking Bernie Sanders on the Kevin Jackson radio show

 During my appearance on the Kevin Jackson Radio Show last week (February 11), we discussed the appeal of Bernie Sanders with millennials, which I credit to their nostalgia of having a grandpa who likes to shower the grand-kids with goodies and free stuff. You can hear the entire segment below:





Friday, February 5, 2016

My February 2 appearance on The Kevin Jackson Radio Show


During my appearance this week on Fox News contributor Kevin Jackson's radio show, I discussed the return of Boko Haram and yet another cop shooting of someone named Michael Brown. You can listen to the segment below:



Friday, January 29, 2016

A deck park could revitalize the neighborhood around the Dallas Zoo

The Marsalis Ave. bridge, where a proposed deck park would be built.
There is a movement afoot to create a "deck park" over Interstate 35 at the Dallas Zoo (it's on the right in the picture above). Citing the success of the Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, backers of the I-35 Deck Park hope it would change the fortunes of the neighborhoods around the Zoo, which have been in decline for decades. Of course, the issue is more complicated than that assessment, as the two locales are hardly comparable. Klyde Warren was nestled between a bustling downtown and the foot of Uptown. The neighborhoods around Jefferson Blvd. and Marsalis Ave. aren't going to change overnight, and no amount of green space will create jobs, reduce crime, or improve education choices. The Zoo, however, is a city asset worth investing in, and the surrounding neighborhoods are due some betterment from any attention the area gets.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My appearance on Kevin Jackson's radio show


Kevin Jackson is a frequent guest on Fox News, including regular appearances on Fox and Friends, Megyn Kelly, and Hannity. He also hosts a popular radio show, and I had the pleasure of appearing on his show Thursday (November 19) as editor of PoliticalIllusionsExposed.com to discuss Al Gore's failed "climate change reality" concert last week in Paris. You can hear the audio in the YouTube clip above. You can find out more about Kevin Jackson and his show by visiting TheBlackSphere.net, and you can follow my work as editor of Political Illusions Exposed by clicking right here.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My comments in the Dallas Morning News about the GOP Presidential debate

Donald Trump insisted in Thursday's GOP Presidential debate that he introduced the issue of immigration into the campaign. Once again, he's overstating things, and he's also managed to ensure we don't get a reasonable discussion on the issue with his hateful rhetoric.

Today's Dallas Morning News features a column by Mercedes Olivera, who addressed the lack of real details or solutions coming from GOP candidates during the debate. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ms. Olivera, and my comments are featured in the article.

You can read the full column by clicking right here.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Read my comments on ICE's recent hire in The Dallas Morning News

I had the opportunity to discuss the hiring of Dallas immigration attorney Liz Cedillo-Pereira as a senior advisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with Mercedes Olivera of The Dallas Morning News. Pereira understands the struggles immigrants encounter, and the shortcomings of ICE in dealing with those foreign nationals. Her hiring is, hopefully, a positive sign that ICE is serious about giving immigrants due process without fear of deportation, a major reason why many undocumented immigrants remain in the shadows, rather than attempt to achieve legal residency.

You can read the column, with my comments, by clicking right here and visiting DallasNews.com.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Is Rosemont the problem, or is it DISD?

The recent news that Rosemont Elementary principal Anne Brining would not have her contract renewed for next year angered many parents at the Oak Cliff school. It also exposed feelings among many that the school is divided between haves and have-nots, with the latter made up of low-income and Latino students. DISD officials point to a series of low testing scores as the reason Brining was fired.

The situation is covered in a new column by Randolph Bush of The Dallas Morning News. You can read it by clicking here. It is an interesting read.

I personally know a number of Rosemont parents, and there is certainly some truth to the claims that Rosemont is split between affluent white students and poorer Latino students, many of them the children of immigrants who are learning English as a second language. However, as a sibling of both a former elementary principal and a teacher, I also know of the extraordinary challenges school administrators face when you have a large ESL student body. Low test scores are not always the result of poor administration, but they could be a symptom of a greater problem.

It should be the job of DISD officials to take all the factors into account when reviewing school personnel. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many nonsensical decisions come from DISD headquarters, and for all we know, this may be one of them. While it is important to understand that, despite her popularity among many Rosemont parents, Principal Brining may indeed deserve to be fired. But DISD officials owe it to those Rosemont parents, and their children, to justify that decision. A woman's career, and the educational progress of hundreds of children, hang in the balance.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Texas Monthly weighs in the great DFW taco debate

We just don't know how good we have it in Texas. I've been to states where both good Mexican food and Dr. Pepper are hard to find, but thankfully we have those things in abundance here. Texas Monthly recently jumped on the "Best Of" list craze by naming the best tacos in different regions of the state. They recently posted their DFW list, which was pretty evenly split between Dallas and Ft. Worth. At least four of the restaurants are in Oak Cliff, which is a nice acknowledgment for our neck of the woods. There are definitely some hidden gems to be found.

You can see the full list yourself by clicking right here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dallas' Trinity River Parkway Report offers new vision

The Trinity Parkway has seen its share of concepts and designs, but the latest offerings, shown in the just-released report shown below, may actually provide a vision Dallas can get behind. This offers a road and park partnership that enhances downtown Dallas, instead of a tollway that does nothing but get people out of the city. Let's just hope they don't change it yet again. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Oak Cliff history, Facebook style

I can't get enough of Oak Cliff history, and if you're on Facebook, there's a great group made up of former and current residents who share stories and photos of life in The Cliff. It called Oak Cliff Boomers and can be found by clicking here. Even though I'm not a Boomer (technically), they were gracious enough to let me join, and I've enjoyed the stories.

Among the photos posted recently was this gem (posted by Steve Baker via the Dallas Public Library) of the old Stevens Park Drug Store at the corner of Ft. Worth Avenue and Hampton. It was torn down and a new strip center was built, which housed a Minyard grocery store for a time, and is now a Big Lots.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My interview with David Hayter

David Hayter has made a name for himself in Hollywood on several fronts; as a screenwriter (of X-Men, X-Men 2, Watchmen, and The Scorpion King), as an actor (including his iconic performance as the voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear video game series), and now as a director. His debut film, Wolves, is a throwback of sorts to 1980s horror films, and stars Lucas Till (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as the lead. Wolves is now available on DVD and Video On Demand, and you can check out my recent interview with him by clicking right here.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Inside the Marvel Experience in Dallas

I recently had the opportunity to check out The Marvel Experience for Examiner.com and Cinelinx.com, when the event camped out at Fair Park in Dallas. The Marvel Experience is an interactive attraction featuring characters from the Marvel comic book universe, and was a huge hit with attendees.

To see my coverage of the grand opening, which was attended by Mark Cuban and Glenn Beck, click right here. To read my review of The Marvel Experience (which will be handy for those of you in cities the attraction is scheduled to stop in during its tour), click right here. You can find out more about the Marvel Experience Tour by clicking right here. A big thanks to the folks behind the event for inviting me out to cover it.

You can also check out the video below, which we shot as part of my coverage.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

In defense of in-state college tuition for undocumented students

(Author's note: I was recently asked by columnist Mercedes Olivera of The Dallas Morning News to comment on Texas Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick's initiative to repeal in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrant students. You can click here to read the Morning News column, including my thoughts. I provided The Dallas Morning News with a full statement (excerpts from which were used in Olivera's column), but I have included the complete statement here to explain why in-state tuition makes sense.   

Republicans had previously supported the in-state tuition program, and Gov. Rick Perry signed it into law and continues to support it. Patrick, however, has led a vindictive, anti-immigrant campaign that led to his election as lieutenant governor this fall. Here is why I feel repealing the in-state tuition discount would be a serious mistake.)

Dan Patrick continues to cloud the immigration issue by using words like “invaders” and “criminals” to disparage immigrants, especially using the term “illegal” over the legally correct term of “undocumented.” He fails to grasp the intricacies of the immigration issue, particularly the fact that no immigrant, regardless of entry, is “illegal” until designated as such by an immigration judge. His inability to differentiate the complexities of immigration law makes him wholly unqualified to comment on the issue, much less lead the charge to change a law that could have disastrous consequences on the future of our state.

Dan Patrick
The concept of in-state tuition is based on the idea that those who live in Texas and contribute taxes to fund our college education system should be awarded a discount. These taxes are collected regardless of one’s legal residency status, so undocumented immigrants and their children pay into the system just as much as a documented citizen. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that undocumented immigrants contribute over $1.6 billion in taxes to the Texas economy, so the contention that immigrants (legal, illegal, or undocumented) do not contribute to the Texas economy is false. They pay in as much as any other citizen, and deserve to partake in the benefits of paying into the system.

The hard truth is most undocumented immigrant children qualify for legal residency and eventual citizenship under current immigration law, and not any special directive from the President, Congress, or ICE. They are going to eventually become legal citizens of Texas. They are in this position because they cannot afford an attorney to help settle their residency status, and ICE offers no help except the option of deportation without due process. It’s a problem I’ve seen over and over in my work with the Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment in Oak Cliff.

By denying these young Texans the chance to earn a college education, we will create a permanent underclass that will have ramifications both for their families and our state, as a whole, in the future. I find it disgusting that Mr. Patrick, in order to score some cheap political points and advance his own career, would sacrifice the futures of kids who want to learn, who want to better themselves, and want to contribute to our great state. These kids have known no other home but Texas. They deserve a fighting chance.

There is a reason in-state tuition was championed by Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans, as well as Democrats. It is a stand based on principle, not restricted by party.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clay Jenkins thinks concerned Dallas citizens are "crazy"

You likely didn't see this during live coverage today, but here's what Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who is running for reelection, said when asked if Dallas County would hold town hall meetings to keep residents informed of the Ebola crisis. Ron Natinsky, who is running against Jenkins, posted the video on his Facebook page. Remember, this statement is coming from a man who sat next to John Wiley Price on the Commissioner's Court for years, and never said anything to him about his antics, and yet he will readily throw Dallas citizens under the bus. If you don't see the video load, click the black box in the post to play the video.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oak Cliff Chamber hosts state reps for "Legislative Summit" Oct. 9

The Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual legislative summit on Thursday, October 9 at the historic Texas Theatre. "A Preview of Plans for the 2015 Legislative Session" will give attendees a chance to get informed on the upcoming legislative session with a panel discussion among members of the Texas House who represent Oak Cliff.

State Representatives Rafael Anchia (District 103), Toni Rose (District 110), and Helen Giddings (District 109) will all participate in the event, providing their input and plans for the next legislative session. Brad Nitschke of Jackson Walker LLP will moderate the discussion. The event will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and is free to attend. To RSVP or learn about sponsorship opportunities of the event, contact Taylor Basped at the Oak Cliff Chamber at 214-943-4567,  ext. 17. The Texas Theatre is located at 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.

The mission of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce is to promote economic development and the quality of life in Oak Cliff. For more information on the Chamber, visit OakCliffChamber.org.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Did the Texas Racing Commission overstep its authority?

Here's something you don't see every day: a politician looking out for our best interests.

On Friday, the Texas Racing Commission voted to change their own current policy and allow "historic racing" betting at race tracks across Texas. "Historic racing machines" closely resemble slot machines, but use the idea that you are betting on an actual historical race, only with any identifying information (like horse names) removed.

Critics argue this is the TRC's attempt to bypass the Texas Legislature and the public and allow slot machines in race tracks without their approval.

To combat this move, Texas State Rep. Matt Krause filed a preemptive lawsuit on Thursday to stop the action, suing the Commission and its individual members. He also filed to have a restraining order issued to stop the rule change. You can read Krause's statement about it right here. A judge has yet to rule on Krause's suits.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Check out the "Gringo Schindler" documentary trailer


Here is the trailer for "Gringo Schindler," an upcoming documentary about Ralph Isenberg and The Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment (ICIE) in Dallas, an organization that assists foreign nationals struggling with our broken immigration system and the heavy-handed tactics of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The immigrants featured in the documentary are people I have had the opportunity to write about for ICIE, and I am excited that their story is about to be told on film. It will hopefully change the way many see our immigration system and the people they brand as illegal criminals.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ralph Isenberg responds to the border crisis

Ralph Isenberg, founder of The Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment (ICIE), calls his organization "A Resort of Last Hope." ICIE, whose efforts are personally funded by Isenberg, assists immigrants facing the bureaucratic red tape of the immigration process. Many are already facing deportation due to a lack of proper representation and assistance, and nearly all are parents who only want a better life for their family.

The border crisis may be new to most Americans following the news, but Isenberg has seen this situation building over time. ICIE is currently assisting over a dozen innocent immigrants, mostly from El Salvador, who have a credible fear of death from gang members and drug cartels should they be deported back into their country. Yet, our government continues to put them on the fast track to deportation.

I recently discussed the crisis with Isenberg, who has some pointed opinions on the subject. He rightfully assigns blame at every level, from immigrants who think America will welcome them, to Republicans and Democrats who grandstand and offer no solutions, to President Obama for claiming he wants to help the refugees while changing the law to expedite deportations without due process.

Click the links below to read his thoughts on the matter. Because of length, I've separated them into two parts.

Ralph Isenberg responds to the border crisis, part 1

Ralph Isenberg responds to the border crisis, part 2


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Dallas Morning News' Mercedes Olivera pens column on the child refugee crisis

I had the honor of being quoted by Mercedes Olivera in her column for The Dallas Morning News on June 21. The column, "Surge in immigrant kids challenges both parties," explored how politicians are responding to the refugee crisis. Sadly, while many Democrats see the obvious humanitarian crisis, Republicans are playing demagogue to the anti-immigrant crowd. I'm glad that as a member of the Cafe con Leche Republicans, we are working to change the tone in our party.

To read Mercedes' column, click right here to visit DallasNews.com.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Responding to the child refugee crisis on our border

As a member of the Cafe con Leche Republicans, a GOP group dedicated to making the party more welcoming and accessible to Hispanics, I had the chance to join our group president, Bob Quasisus, in speaking out about the refugee crisis along our border.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a directive to expand resources at the border to enhance security in response to the large number of children coming here from violent countries ripped apart by the drug trade. This includes Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. However, Gov. Perry missed a prime opportunity to address the child refugee issue directly, and show we have concern and compassion for these children.

Our moral obligation to help these refugee children is not limited to any political party. Giving them an opportunity for a better life in America is part of our immigration law, and being a true patriot includes helping those tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

You can read the statement, including the thoughts of myself and CCLR President Bob Quasisus, by clicking right here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Old Oak Cliff Conservation League releases 'Architecture at Risk' list

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League has released their annual list of "Architecture at Risk," including some notable and historic structures that they hope to save. The OOCCL has been directly responsible for saving a number of our neighborhood's beautiful buildings and homes, and saving some of our local heritage. Here is the list for 2014, and you can find out more info about the League at OOCCL.org.

1. Oak Cliff Pump Station at Oak Farms Dairy c.1913
2. Lancaster Avenue Commercial National Register Historic District c.1910-1944
3. 635 N. Zang - Mayor George Sergeant's Home c.1910
4. 1045 N. Zang Blvd. - Zang's Storefront c.1914
5. 500 N. Ewing - J.G. Davis c.1910
6. 211 E. Colorado - Oak Cliff Floral c.1938
7. 1207 N. Zang Blvd. - Polar Bear c.1932
8. N. Bishop Ave. and the Miller-Stemmons National Register Historic District c.1910 - 1930's
9. Kovandovitch Concrete House - 523 Eads c.1914
10. McKinney Lamar Viaduct / Continental Viaduct c.1931

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Remembering "the least of these" on Father's Day

On this Father's Day, we should be dedicated to following the example of not only our earthly fathers, but our Heavenly Father as well. Sadly, I see some forsaking that example within my own party. That includes Pastor Stephen Broden, whom I supported when he ran for Congress. In some misguided attempt to pander to some political activists, he is demonizing the Central American refugee children arriving at our border, stating yesterday on Facebook that "illegal children are bum rushing our border," as if they are shoppers at a Black Friday sale. He states that we should "push back in Jesus' name."

Worse yet, his supporters are using his post to find some Biblical justification for this statement, saying things that are un-Christian, anti-Republican, and inhuman. If you are unaware of the situation in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras (where these children are from), I suggest you get to know Ralph Isenberg, a local activist who works with these people on a daily basis and knows the situation. Helping these children and their families, and giving them safe harbor in our country, will not be easy or inexpensive, but it is a solemn duty our country and our God requires of us. Anything less is a sin. Patriotism and righteousness requires sacrifice.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My interview with filmmaker Fanny Veliz

I recently had the opportunity to interview Fanny Veliz, an actress and filmmaker whose first feature-length film, Homebound, is screening around the country. We discussed true independent filmmaking and the current state of Latinos in Hollywood. You can click right here to read my interview with Fanny for Cinelinx.com, and you can click right here to read my Cinelinx review of her film Homebound (which is quite good actually).

You can see Homebound in your town using Tugg, a service which will arrange screenings at local theaters when a certain number of tickets have been pre-sold. You can check out the official Homebound page on Tugg right here, and set up a screening near you!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Stories of the Immigrants

I have created a special section collecting my articles on the issue of immigration. Over a year ago, I met Ralph Isenberg of the Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment, located in the north Oak Cliff section of Dallas. He introduced me to the human toll exacted by our broken immigration system by introducing me to the foreign nationals his group assists. I hope you'll take the time to read the stories and discover the truth beyond the rhetoric. You can view the stories by clicking here.

Vote for me in the 2014 Rondo Awards!


Each year, the Rondo Awards recognize the best in classic horror, sci-fi, and fantasy in film, television, and other media. Among the categories is an award for Reviewer of the Year (Category 29). It's a write-in category, and as lead DVD/Blu-ray reviewer for Cinelinx.com, I've had the honor of being nominated by readers for the past three years. I've yet to win, and I must confess, I'd really like to have that award sitting on my desk (the bust of Rondo Hatton you see in the image above is the actual award).

Voting for the Rondos closes this Sunday night, May 4, at midnight. Anyone can vote, and I would like to ask for your consideration! You can check out a sampling of my reviews at Cinelinx by clicking right here. There are many more reviews available to read at Cinelinx if you search my name.

To vote, click right here to visit the official Rondo Awards website. They will explain the process, which entails copying and pasting the ballot into an email, with your selections. You can vote for me in Category 29 by listing your choice as "Victor Medina, Cinelinx.com." You don't have to vote in every category. It is a bit of work to vote, but it is necessary to prevent ballot box stuffing.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Monday, March 17, 2014

An immigration lesson on St. Patrick's Day

On this St. Patrick's Day, it is important to remember that our current furor over Mexican immigrants is nearly identical to the Irish influx over a century ago. At the time, The Chicago Post wrote, "The Irish fill our prisons, our poor houses...Scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic. Putting them on a boat and sending them home would end crime in this country." Yet, the Irish assimilated.

It is easy to make crass, ignorant generalizations, but much harder to admit that our country is strong enough, and the willingness of immigrants to succeed and assimilate deep enough, to weather such trends. It is key to remember that studies show that current immigrants are assimilating much quicker than previous generations. America will endure.

To read more about the Irish immigration movement, click right here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meet Tom Nowak, candidate for Dallas County District Attorney

I recently had the opportunity to speak with attorney Tom Nowak, who is running in the Republican primary for Dallas District Attorney. Nowak once worked in the D.A.'s office, but was fired by Craig Watkins after he discovered Nowak had attended a GOP election night watch party. Now, Nowak is ready to return the favor, and he discussed Watkins, what he wants to accomplish as D.A., and his primary opponent Susan Hawk with me. Here is the full article, originally posted at Examiner.com:

In 2010, Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins fired one of his top prosecutors, apparently for attending a GOP election night watch party. In 2014, that fired prosecutor could return the favor by having Watkins, a Democrat, voted out of office and taking his job.

Welcome to the world of Tom Nowak, Republican candidate for Dallas District Attorney.

As a prosecutor, Nowak was once a rising star in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office. Although he was hired under former D.A. Bill Hill, Watkins promoted him to the child abuse division, where he prosecuted what Nowak describes as “the worst of the worst cases…aggravated assault against children, the continuous sexual abuse of children, those kinds of cases.”

That all changed in November 2010, after Nowak attended a Republican election night watch party, the same night Watkins was reelected as D.A. “I went to the Republican watch party that Tuesday because many of my friends were in judicial races. I went to support them, and it had nothing to do with the district attorney’s office. I didn’t donate money to candidates, I didn’t put up signs in my yard for candidates, and I didn’t go to rallies or anything like that.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dallas GOP candidate's Twitter account still says she's a Democrat

The primaries are coming up, with early voting starting in a few weeks. Among those running is Susan Hawk, a former criminal district court judge who wants to be Dallas' next district attorney. However, to do so, Hawk had to switch her political party from Democrat to Republican, something she had already done back in 2010. However, she forgot to update her Twitter account. Kinda hard to appeal to GOP voters when you still wear the D-label. To read more about the political blunder, click here to read my story at Examiner.com.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oak Cliff immigration advocacy group fights ICE abuse

Over the past year or so, I've gotten to know Oak Cliff businessman and philanthropist Ralph Isenberg, and his work through the Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment. Ralph and his staff spend each day helping the most vulnerable among us: foreign nationals trying to navigate our burdensome and bureaucratic immigration system.

I've had the opportunity to write about some of the families his group helps, who are often at the end of their rope when it comes to dealing with our government and their ineptitude. That included Salomon Guevara, who escaped the violence in his home country of El Salvador and lived here legally until a paperwork error and the staff of Dallas Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided to separate him from his family and deport him. It is a shocking miscarriage of justice and proof our current system is broken. To read more about his story, click right here. To find out more about The Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment, click right here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Listen to my appearance on The Wade Emmert show!


I had the pleasure of appearing on the Wade Emmert show Sunday as a member of his "Power Panel," discussing everything from Obamacare to the Texas gubernatorial race (this is a Dallas show, after all). I also appeared with Scott Braddock and Karen Watson (click their names for their respective sites). Big thanks to Wade (you can visit his website right here) for having me on and feel free to click below to hear the episode.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

My upcoming appearance on The Wade Emmert Show

I'm excited to announce that I will appear as a guest panelist on The Wade Emmert Show, which tapes tomorrow night, December 1, and will be available online soon after. Wade's show has been a big hit on Sunday nights on WBAP in north Texas, as well as online with listeners across the country, and Wade just announced that the show has ended its run on WBAP, because it is moving to a new station in January. Until then, the show will continue as an online broadcast available through Soundcloud and iTunes. Tomorrow's show will be online very soon, and I will post a link to it here. You can also listen to it directly on Wade's website, WadeEmmert.com. You can listen to past shows as well.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bank Tower at Oak Cliff hosting JFK exhibit

If you live in Dallas, you can view a special commemorative exhibit for the 50th anniversary of the JFK tragedy. The Bank Tower at Oak Cliff (locals might know it as the Bank of America tower at Zang and I-35) is hosting "JFK: A Community Remembers" is a large exhibit that covers both the history of the assassination and the man behind the Presidency. It features historical information (including the 60's era living room featuring news reports of the assassination), memorabilia, an art exhibit, and a even a place of "peaceful reflection." The exhibit is on display in the Tower lobby, and you can find more information on the exhibit by visiting the official website, JFKOCT.com (click here).

Thursday, August 29, 2013

This politician feels your pain, but not enough to work for free....

Attorney and U.S. Senatorial candidate Domingo Garcia was at a local Jack in the Box today protesting the minimum wage and demanding workers be paid more. Police threw him out. For someone so concerned with the poor, why doesn't this millionaire help out poor immigrants in Dallas who qualify for a legal adjustment of residency status, yet are still facing deportation due to aggressive ICE agents? He'll only help you if you meet his price. I wonder how many Jumbo Jacks it costs to put Domingo on retainer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Ten Most Powerful People in Dallas, 2013 Edition

My third annual ranking of the ten most powerful people in Dallas is now up at Yahoo News (you can read it by clicking right here) and I wanted to give a big thanks to those who provided their input.

Of course, some take issue with who is on the list, and that's to be expected. It's hardly a scientific process, and I'm sure there are those who give deference to a particular CEO or billionaire over an elected official or pop culture icon. I can't truly argue with different lines of thought on the issue, as each has valid points. In my view, however, I felt it necessary to give proper credit to the social, political, and business elite of the area, which means someone is getting left out and others may seem unjustifiably elevated over others.

D Magazine seemed annoyed by my list. Tim Rogers in particular was upset over my pick of H. Ross Perot. I'll give him partial credit for that. In my first draft, I gave equal listing to his wife and children, who actually do the lion's share of the charity work I was acknowledging, including the Perot Museum. However, I changed it to just Ross Sr., as figurehead of the family, in my final draft. Truly, I should have made it "The Perot Family" to be more precise and reflect the opinions of those I consulted for the list.

I still contend Larry Hagman (and the Dallas cast) deserves to be on the list. We here in town seem to loathe the idea of the J.R. stereotype, but ask any out-of-towner to define Dallas, and we all know what they'll say.

Perhaps I should have consulted D Magazine readers for their thoughts. However, since I don't spend any time in the waiting rooms of local plastic surgery centers, I never had the chance.

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Kirk Cameron article gets Glenn Beck's attention (or maybe just his news editor)

Yesterday, I was one of the first to report on Facebook's ban on free speech, when it disallowed links to Kirk Cameron's new movie. After Cameron notified his fans, Facebook lifted the ban. You can read my article on the situation by clicking right here to visit Examiner.com.

The article received a huge response, especially on Facebook (of all places). It was also mentioned by both Glenn Beck's The Blaze website, as well as Liberty University's website (Liberty helped co-produce the film). At one point yesterday, it was being read around the world at the rate of four new readers a second. A big thanks to all my readers for helping get the word out, you are most appreciated.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Who do you think should be among Dallas' most powerful?

Each year, I have the opportunity to name the ten most powerful people in Dallas for Yahoo News. To compile the list, I consult a group of folks-in-the-know and some of Dallas' power elite for their opinions, which remain confidential. However, I'm always open to other's opinions. If you have a thought of who should be in the top ten and why, email me at vic@victormedina.com and let me know. Don't post it here - email me personally!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sign a petition to help this Dallas mother!

I recently had the opportunity to write about a Dallas mother jailed on charges on illegal entry into the country. It's a story I couldn't believe is happening in America. Her case is proof our country's vague and misguided immigration laws need reform, as she not only entered the country legally, she meets the requirements to live here legally. Despite her claims of innocence, she hasn't even received a bond hearing, thanks to ICE agents who withheld information from the U.S,. attorney.

In an effort to get her out on bond until her trial begins, a petition has been started on Change.org. You can click right here to sign it. I hope you'll add your name, and ask your friends to do so as well.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is the Dallas Mega March all about money and publicity?

My latest article for Yahoo News details the rift among local immigration rights leaders over the Mega March scheduled for May 5 in downtown Dallas. Ralph Isenberg says the organizers shouldn't profit off the people the march aims to help, namely Domingo Garcia, who has political aspirations and is opening law offices to process immigrant paperwork. To read more about what Isenberg and Mega March organizer Hector Flores told me, click right here to read my full article.

Monday, March 25, 2013

About my Starbucks article....

As many of you know, my recent article about Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his statements about gay marriage has been part of a viral movement to boycott the coffee chain. In response, Christian Post author Marty Duren, in an apparent attempt to ride the wave of publicity, is offering a counterpoint that my article was a "complete fabrication." He claims Schultz's statements were presented out of context.

It seems Mr. Duren, who has offered a few contributing articles to The Christian Post and runs his own blog, seems completely naive to the message Schultz was sending. His article is an attempt to build some sort of journalistic and editorial credibility for himself at the cost of my own. When Schultz made his comment to Tom Strobhar, he prefaced them by stating if he wasn't happy with the profits of Starbucks stock, he should sell his stock and invest somewhere else.

Mr. Duren seems willing to let Schultz off the hook because of it, but he obviously doesn't understand the league he is trying to play in. He also doesn't have the journalistic or spiritual discernment to properly dissect his statements. Duren seems to forget that Schultz also said that not every decision is about money, and he is willing to make a principled stand. His statement to Strobhar to 'sell his stock and go elsewhere' is the same sort of marginalizing the left attempts against anyone who disagrees with gay marriage on moral grounds. If Schultz wasn't trying to slap Strobhar down over his gay marriage stand, why did other stockholders break out into applause? They weren't applauding Starbucks profits. They were loving the fact that the evil Christian bigot was being "put in his place" and being shown the door.

Duren seems completely oblivious to this, and if he doesn't understand the intent or the purpose of the arguments, he shouldn't try to publicly dissect them. His article will likely be used by the left to discredit traditional marriage supporters, while ignoring the intolerant statements Schultz made. I hope he's happy with that.

When Christ confronted the Pharisees, he cut through their legalistic rhetoric and cut them at their core. He didn't get mired in the muck of their pious verbiage. I don't seriously consider myself on the same intellectual or spiritual level as Jesus, but I will attempt to cut through the careful (and obviously planned) wording of Schultz's response to what he truly meant. Mr. Duren would be wise to wake up to the ways of the world and realize when his faith and beliefs are being insulted.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Updates to VisitOakCliff.com

I recently changed servers for the VisitOakCliff.com website, after our last server experienced significant outages, causing the site to be inaccessible for periods of time. I am taking the opportunity to make some changes and updates, especially to the business listings. For now, some pages on the site may be offline, but as they are updated, more will be uploaded. If you would like your Oak Cliff business listed, just email your info to vic@victormedina.com. I will list your business name, address, and website for free.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Tony Romo article for Yahoo News

Dallas Cowboys quaterback Tony Romo was just named one of America's most disliked athletes, and Yahoo News asked me to write a story giving the perspective of local fans. It was featured on Yahoo's front page and was read by tens of thousands of people. Although I consider myslef a Romo supporter, I'm apparently in the minority, as I came to find out. To read the story yourself, click right here to visit Yahoo News.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paychecks give Dallas County employees a rude awakening

January was not kind to many taxpayers, including employees of Dallas County. Most discovered that President Obama's promise of no new taxes for the middle class wasn't exactly accurate. I obtained a memo sent out to Dallas County employees about the tax, which somehow managed to provide the details that our elected officials, and the media, did not. To read all about the new tax, click here to read my article at Examiner.com.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet Charles Lingerfelt

You haven't heard much from the local media about it, but local businessman Charles Lingerfelt (left) is running against Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. Many don't give a white Republican much hope in this race, but that hasn't stopped him from traveling the district in a search for votes. To learn more about the man and his fight against the corrupt political machine, click right here to read my new article for Yahoo News.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oak Cliff Home Tour this weekend!

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League is holding their annual Home Tour this weekend, with proceeds benefiting various local civic projects. To order tickets or for more info, click right here to visit the OOCCL website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The 2012 Top Ten Most Powerful People in Dallas

Note: This column was originally published on Yahoo News.

In 2011, our ranking of the 10 most powerful people in Dallas stirred much debate. It seems everyone who read the list disagreed over who was on it and how they ranked. Of course, that makes doing another a no-brainer.

For 2012, changes were made in the criteria that determined who made the list. Last year, individuals were ranked on their ability to influence the daily lives of Dallas citizens. While this is still a major criteria, one's influence on the national and international perception of Dallas is also included. That means several new additions to the list.
First, we must note those who fell out of the top 10 from last year. That includes last year's No. 2, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. Just days after making the list, his home and office were raided by the FBI as part of a corruption investigation. It severely limited his influence, as his supporters ran for political cover.
Former Dallas Observer writer Robert Wilonsky also drops off the list. He is now the editor of DallasNews.com and not as vocal and controversial. Dallas County Republican Party chairman Wade Emmert also drops off, after a subdued year locally for the GOP.
Here is the list:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Are "beer barns" affecting your neighborhood?

When Dallas was considering allowing alcohol sales in a voting referendum, opponents were characterized as some sort of uptight, church lady party poopers who were keeping everyone from having wine at their favorite restaurant. Now, it seems what all those opponents were really protesting is coming true. With a number of proposed beer barns ready to invade neighborhoods across Oak Cliff, the vague language and loose regulations of the alcohol sale regulations are coming home to roost in all the worst ways. If you are directly affected by these possible establishments, email me at vic@victormedina.com. I'm working on an article for Yahoo News about the subject, and I want to hear from you!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vote for me in the Rondo Awards!

Every year, the Rondo Awards recognize the best in classic horror, sci-fi, and fantasy media. Best Movie, TV show, and book are recognized, as are best website, best toy, and best article. Best DVD reviewer (Category 30) is a write in category, and open for any voter to nominate anyone they want. The website I write DVD reviews for, TheMoviePool.com, is pushing to get me votes for the award, and I need your help! Click here to visit RondoAward.com and write in "Victor Medina, TheMoviePool.com" in Category 30, Best DVD Reviewer. You will have to submit your vote via email, and copy and paste the categories you are voting on. You have until midnight, April 1 to vote. Please have as many friends and family as possible vote, as each is appreciated! Thanks for your support!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Air Force Artist's Paintings Capture 9/11 Heroism

"Ground Zero, Eagles on Station" by Rick Herter
Aviation artist Rick Herter built a career out of two of his childhood passions: airplanes and art. His success as an artist would soon intersect with history, however, when the U.S. Air Force called on his talents after the attacks of September 11. Herter was asked to capture the Air Force response in the first moments of the War on Terror, and the resulting paintings have become a source of inspiration to many, including those in our armed forces.
Like most Americans, Herter first heard of the 9/11 attacks through media reports.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sure, Dallas Morning News, you can steal my scoop

Around 1:30 pm on Thursday, July 21, The Dallas Morning News ran the Oswald t-shirt story on their website's main page, on their "Scoop Blog." Initially, they credited me with breaking the story and linked to my original story on Yahoo. An hour later, using quotes gleaned by their reporter, they changed the story, dropping any mention of me and re-writing the story as if they dug it up themselves. I guess they define "scoop" as taking someone's work without the courtesy of an acknowledgment.

A basic rule of thumb in journalism requires that you cite your original source if you did not break the story. That does not always apply on national stories, but in this case, they should have at least acknowledged that I broke the story. On Friday, they wrote a feature story about it for their online and print editions and still did not even give me a shout out. Or a mention, Or a link. Or even the finger. I guess when you are the big dog, you can blow off independent journalists like myself and use our work as your own.  

A big thanks to NBC-DFW, Pegasus News, and the other sites who linked to my story and gave me credit. As a freelance writer for Yahoo, a portion of my pay is based on readership. When The Dallas Morning News doesn't have the courtesy to acknowledge my story, which they used to write a story on their own on a page full of ads, it costs me in actual dollars. Stay classy, Morning News.

Is the Texas Theatre's Oswald shirt in bad taste?

A new T-shirt being sold by the historic Texas Theatre in Dallas is getting a lot of attention - and criticism - from local residents. Detractors say the shirt is in poor taste, while supporters say it is art that reflects the theater's history.

The shirt in question features the mugshot of Lee Harvey Oswald , the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theatre a short time after the assassination, forever linking the tragic events of 1963 with the movie house located in the north Oak Cliff section of Dallas . Some critics are claiming that the T-shirt, which can be viewed at The Texas Theatre's Facebook page, is disrespectful of the tragedy and is using Oswald's infamy to make money.

Jason Reimer of Aviation Cinemas, who operates the Texas Theatre and created the T-shirt, said it is about accepting history. For better or worse, Oswald's arrest at the theater (which Reimer prefers to call "the incident") has defined the theater's identity. "Dallas has not come to terms with a lot of its history," he said. "Oswald is a part of the theater's history. Everyone knows it. We are acknowledging it."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Try saying "Calatrava Bridge" three times fast

I had the chance recently to write about Dallas' new Calatrava Bridge and the plans the city has for the area. To read it, just click right here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

7-11's Free Slurpee Day celebrates an American tradition

Mark your calendars, America: Monday, July 11, is Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven. To commemorate its 84th birthday, the convenience store chain plans to give away 5 million free Slurpees to hot, thirsty people at over 8,600 locations in North America in an event officially known as 7-Eleven Day.

One might think that giving away so many free Slurpees would put a dent in 7-Eleven's bottom line, but according to the company, they sell enough Slurpees each year to fill 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It sounds like they can afford it.

The free Slurpee tradition began in 2002 with 7-Eleven's 75th birthday , but for most of us, the personal tradition of shopping there goes back much further. Indeed, 7-Eleven is part of our social fabric, a concept uniquely American yet shared with the rest of the world at over 41,000 global locations.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not everyone's a Pepper, apparently....

I had the chance to cover the lawsuit Dr. Pepper is bringing against Dublin Dr. Pepper for apparently being too successful and offering a great product. Seriously.


To read all about it, and see how fans are reacting, click right here. There's even a "I Support Dublin Dr. Pepper" page on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League's Preservation List

I failed to post a link to my article about the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League's efforts to save significant structures around the area. It was posted to Yahoo News two weeks ago, but you can read it for yourself right here. You can find out more about the League right here.