The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3

May 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3 from on Vimeo.

The Dallas Love Field airport is getting a face lift. Education budget cuts may cause more students to apply for student loans, and The Daily Campus and The Daily Mustang are merging. Find out all this and more on your Daily Update.

Dallas Mayoral Candidates Debate Issues at SMU

April 19, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Praveen Sathianathan

Video By Bridget Bennett

Education, the city’s budget, the Trinity River project and the development of South Dallas were the focus of the Dallas mayoral race’s first televised debate Tuesday night.

Former Police Chief David Kunkle, Council member Ron Natinsky, businessman Edward Okpa and former Pizza Hut CEO Mike Rawlings took part in the one-hour debate at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Theater.

Mayoral Candidates prepares for questions at the Dallas Mayoral Debate at SMU on Tuesday, April 21st at SMU. (PHOTO BY MEGHAN GARLICH / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Moderated by CBS 11 anchor Doug Dunbar, candidates were asked questions by a panel of journalists including Jessica Huseman, politics editor at The Daily Campus.

The debate began with candidates being asked what city services should be cut to help balance the budget in lieu of a shortfall that could range from $40 to $100 million.

Rawlings said besides crime prevention and economic development “everything else is on the table.”

“Got to make sure that everything is on the board, but lets not cut across the board,” Rawlings said. “We got to do it strategically. What are the major initiatives we got to face? Get the city council unified and then get the city manager to do her job.”

Kunkle said the city should start the budget process earlier than they do.

“I don’t think there is anything easy to cut in the budget anymore,” Kunkle said. “We can’t make cuts without affecting critical city services.”

He said it was important to look at “what business the city should be in.”

Kunkle said he would like to, as much as possible, “maintain core city services: police, fire, city enforcement and streets,” but said it would be hard with another difficult budget year.

Natinsky agreed saying it is a tough budget year, but added that it’s not like the last few Dallas has faced. Citing projections of the increase in sales tax and other activities in the city, Natinsky eluded to signs that there maybe a recovery.

“We have a good chance of coming very close to possibly balancing the budget, certainly without a tax increase or having to cut any essential services,” he said.

Okpa said if the city “regresses the budget by three percent we can easily fix the budget, but if we do it now, what about next year?” he asked.

He then suggested the city “take a critical view of the structural challenges of the budget.”

All candidates also expressed the need to improve Dallas schools.

Kunkle said the city needs to “continue to facilitate and help grow neighborhood after-school programs” and that it needs a stronger commitment from the business community.

Natinsky agreed with Kunkle on the importance of after school programs, but stressed Dallas’ “great history of public and private partnerships.” He suggested that parents need to be actively involved in the educational process.

He said without solving the problems of education, “we can’t deal with economic issues we are facing and we can’t continue to grow the city.”

Opa agreed with the necessity to get parents involved, and complimented the Dallas Independent School District on the good job it has already done.

“If I show you the school I went to in Nigeria, I think DISD is a heaven,” he said.

Rawlings said education was the most important issue Dallas faces for “we are educating our children and it’s our future.”

“Never be a great city without great public education,” he said. “Must do something structural and must do something sustainable.”

He said it was integral to work with other urban mayors in other parts of the state, energize non-profit organizations and those that want to lift the school system.

The candidates also focused on the development of south Dallas many times during the night. The issue is considered to be a hot topic, since the area lacks many of the amenities, such as restaurants and businesses, that are found in the northern parts of the city.

Social media also played a role in the debate as students and Dallas citizens could ask questions through Twitter or Facebook. According to Dunbar, one of the reoccurring themes was about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

A question from SMU Dedman I Senator Harvey Luna, on how to make Dallas “a more gay-friendly city” was selected and answered by the candidates. Praising the diversity found within the city, all the candidates agreed that Dallas’ LGBT community should have a place in the city.

Rawlings said: “We have the human capital, but for too long we’ve been divisive. We have African Americans, Hispanics and whites, we have gay and straight. That attitude is going to hinder that growth.

“Some of the greatest and most exciting ideas are coming from the GLBT community,” he said. “We have got to make sure they have a place at city hall, a place in business and a place socially in the framework and fabric of this city.”

The debate ended with closing statements from the candidates, which included their main goals for the city.

David Delafuente, president of the Texas College Democrats, said it was a great opportunity for SMU to host such an event.

“As an SMU student who lives in the City of Dallas in the southern sector, I felt that Mike Rawlings had the best vision for the neighborhood I come from and hope to go back to after I finish my education at SMU,” he said.

SMU junior Samira Abderahman said that she feels lucky to go to a school where the city’s mayor candidates come to speak to the community.

“I cant say now that I am not educated enough to vote,” she said. “This gave me an opportunity to deal with issues that citizens of Dallas need to know about.”

The debate was sponsored by The Daily Campus and CBS 11. A student steering committee, led by Huseman, helped organized the event, working on the logistics for two months. The other members of the committee were Chad Cohen, president of SMU College Rebuplicans, Adriana Martinez, opinions editor of The Daily Campus and Alex Ehmke, student body vice president elect.

Huseman said the debate has come a long way from where it started. She said she was talking to Delafuente about debates his organization has hosted and randomly came up with the idea for The Daily Campus to host the debate.

“Looking at it tonight, we had an hour of live television that went on without a hitch,” she said. “I thought it was infinitely more successful than what I first thought it would be.”

The Daily Update: Monday, April 4

April 4, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Monday, April 4 from on Vimeo.

A would be teenage suicide bomber was arrested in Pakistan and why Southwest airlines may have some holes in their business strategy. When was the last time you got involved in a pillow fight, if it has been a while you might have missed the time of your life this weekend, all this and more on your Daily Update. Anchored by SMU-TV’s Bridget Bennett.

The Daily Update: Friday, April 1

April 2, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Texas roadways didn’t do well on their report card, Ranger’s ticket prices have sky rocketed and Kate Middleton won’t be putting a ring on it. All this and more on your Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Friday, April 1 from on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Japanese Earthquake Rattles American Car Industry

March 31, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Bridget Bennett

VIDEO: Japan Impact from on Vimeo.

The effects of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan are being felt throughout the American auto industry.

Toyota announced that it’s U.S. manufacturing plants are preparing for a possible shutdown. More than 70 percent of their vehicles are produced in the U.S.; however, small component parts made in Japan are needed to continue production.

Foreign-based auto companies are not alone in this crunch.

American auto producers Ford and General Motors depend on small component parts like paint pigments and computer chips that are manufactured in Japan.

Daily Update: Wednesday, March 30

March 31, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Why did a U.S. Navy ship fired 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles? What is the latest update on the Japan nuclear reactor? And who will give SMU’s commencement speech? Find out all this and more on your Daily Update! Anchored by SMU-TV’s Bridget Bennett and Sydney Geisey.

Daily Update, Update March 30, 2011 from on Vimeo.

The Daily Update: Thursday, March 24

March 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The disaster in Japan is already having an affect on car factories in the U.S., one of Hollywood’s most legendary stars is dead and the Mustangs take on the Santa Clara Broncos Friday as SMU hosts the Final Four this weekend. All this and more on today’s Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Thursday, March 24 from on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Growing Up on Greenville

March 4, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Bridget Bennett

Lower Greenville Avenue is known for it’s late night atmosphere, with a music venue, clubs and bars along the neighborhood. The Daily Mustang’s Bridget Bennett spoke with some Greenville residents who choose to raise their kids on Lower Greenville. These families say the benefits of growing up on Greenville outweigh the party culture it’s known to have.

Growing Up On Greenville from on Vimeo.

Dallas County District Attorney Speaks at SMU

February 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Bridget Bennett

Dallas County District Attorney Speaks at SMU from on Vimeo.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins spoke at an SMU Faculty Club luncheon Wednesday. Watkins, a Dallas native, is serving his second term as the first African American District Attorney in Texas. He has partnered with the Innocence Project of Texas to exonerate the wrongfully convicted in Dallas County.

Watkins’ spoke about these exonerations, touching on the role media played in raising awareness. Watkins said wrongful convictions are deplorable for the pain they cause those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. But the involvement does not stop there, Watkins said.

“When we make a mistake, when someone has been convicted for something they didn’t do. Inevitably, the individual that did do it continues to commit crimes,” Watkins said.

The majority of people who are in jail, Watkins said, are addicted to some illegal substance, uneducated, or without a skill set. Watkins expressed the importance of rehabilitation programs to prevent future prosecutions. He also talked about the ratio of taxpayer money spent on one inmate in a prison versus the amount money spent on his education before he committed that crime. The latter had far less invested.

Equality and trust in the criminal justice system also came up in the speech. Watkins said that citizens do the sentencing during jury duty and need to take their job seriously for the justice system to properly function.

Referring to SMU, Watkins said students are the future of change for this country. He charged the faculty with the important role of teaching students to be involved in government and politics, but to also have the courage to stand up for what is right.

Daily Mustang: Wednesday, February 23

February 23, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Why are thousands leaving Libya? Find out the latest on the earthquake that rocked New Zealand and learn why did a man hide a chainsaw in his pants? Learn all this and more on your Daily Update! Anchored by SMU-TV’s Bridget Bennett and Sydney Geisey.

Daily Update: Wednesday, February 23 from on Vimeo.

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