Axios Dallas

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Happy Wednesday! Fear living inauthentically.

โ˜€๏ธ Today's weather: Back to the 90s. Small chance of storms.

๐ŸŽต Sounds like: "A Dog's Life"

๐Ÿ€ Situational awareness: The Mavericks and Stars lost the first games of their second-round playoff series last night.

  • The Stars made it to overtime before losing 4-3 to the Colorado Avalanche.
  • The Mavs lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 95-117 after a frustrating performance all night.

Today's newsletter is 928 adopted words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Why Texas won't divest

University of Texas professor Craig Campbell speaks at a demonstration this month calling on the university to divest from Israel. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Pro-Palestinian protesters at UT Dallas and UT Arlington have made a specific request of university officials that's unlikely to be entertained โ€” divest from weapons-manufacturing companies selling arms to the Israeli military.

Why it matters: Apart from whether divestment makes sense as a fiduciary or moral matter, the universities' unwillingness to bend on their portfolio is overdetermined by state politics.

  • UT campuses are overseen by a board of regents appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed by state senators.

The big picture: Protests at Texas universities and campuses across the country have sought to use divestment as a tool to put pressure on Israel, whose bombardment of Gaza has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians, including many civilians.

  • Israel says it's responding to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed some 1,200 people and during which around 240 were taken hostage.

State of play: The UT System's investment arm โ€” UTIMCO โ€” manages $74.6 billion in assets for the UT and Texas A&M systems. Among the investments are companies that produce weapons and ammunition used by Israel, per a list compiled by the Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee:

  • Lockheed Martin Corp., with UT shares valued at almost $1 million, per an annual audit report.
  • RTX (formerly Raytheon), with UT shares valued at nearly $600,000.
  • Northrop Corp., with UT shares valued at roughly $1.4 million.

What they're saying: "UT Dallas/UTIMCO must fully divest from corporations complicit and directly facilitating war, occupation, policing, militarism, and death in Palestine and around the world," the UTD Students for Justice in Palestine chapter wrote on Instagram.

The other side: "This will NEVER happen," Abbott wrote on X about the divestment demand.

Between the lines: "Colleges and universities have long been a target of Republican lawmakers due to the perception of liberal biases among faculty, staff, and students," Joshua Blank, research director of the Texas Politics Project at UT, tells Axios.

How UT handled South Africa divestment demands

2. ๐Ÿถ More vet clinics are popping up in Texas

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

More veterinary clinics are popping up in Texas and other parts of the country amid a national vet shortage.

The big picture: The pandemic pet adoption boom aggravated the vet shortage, which has increased provider burnout.

Threat level: Dogs visiting parks, boarding facilities or groomers are at risk for contagious illnesses, per Dallas Animal Services. Pet owners also visit clinics for vaccinations.

State of play: The number of vet establishments across the country has increased 8.4% since 2012, according to most recent Census Bureau data from 2021.

  • Veterinary schools are increasing class capacity and more schools are in development to meet increasing demand for services.
Map showing percentage change in the number of veterinary establishments by state between 2012 and 2021. Overall, the number of veterinary establishments increased by 8.4% over this period. D.C. had the highest increase with 50% more establishments while Vermont had the largest decrease at -9%.
Data: Census Bureau; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Zoom in: Around 220 vet establishments opened in Texas between 2012 and 2021 but the state is still struggling to meet demand.

The bottom line: Many more vets are probably still needed to meet the overall demand.

3. ๐Ÿพ Animal shelters are over capacity

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Speaking of pets, several North Texas animal shelters are offering free or discounted adoptions to reduce their backlog of animals waiting for a furever home.

Why it matters: Research has shown that pets can boost your immune system, mood and sense of purpose. They're also good for a child's development.

State of play: Animal shelters locally aren't adopting out animals quickly enough to accommodate new arrivals.

The perks: Most shelters cover spays and neuters, microchipping, vaccinations and medical exams.

How to help: Browse the pets available for adoption in Plano, Dallas and through SPCA. You can also foster a pet or make a donation if you can't adopt.

If you adopt: The Alliance of Therapy Dogs has these tips for helping your dog settle in after adoption. Here are some tips for helping your cat adjust.

  • Bonus points for anyone who names their pet Axios.

4. ๐Ÿ—ž Burnt ends: Bite-sized news bits

Every day is a new opportunity repair burned bridges. Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

๐Ÿšจ A Dallas priest was arrested on two counts of indecency with a child in Garland. (DMN)

๐Ÿงฌ DNA testing helped police link a 2022 Denton sexual assault to a Carrollton man suspected in several rape cases. (FOX4)

๐Ÿ’ฐ The Amon G. Carter Foundation has gifted $10.75 million to Texas A&M's downtown Fort Worth campus, which is under construction. (Fort Worth Report)

5. ๐Ÿงช We asked, you answered: the women of STEM

Where oh where are these women? Photo: Naheed "Former Pre-Med Student" Rajwani-Dharsi/Axios

This week we asked if you knew where these 3D statues stand โ€” a lot of you got it wrong, on a technicality.

The answer: The figures line the entrance at Pegasus Park, a biotech hub near the Dallas Medical District.

  • The #IfThenSheCan exhibit was commissioned by Dallas-based Lyda Hill Philanthropies and depicts women who were innovators in science, technology, engineering and math.

Zoom out: The exhibit's 120 statues are located across North America.

  • Texas Wesleyan University and the Hockaday School each have one statue.

The intrigue: Many Axios Dallas readers guessed the statues are at NorthPark Center. The full exhibit was on display in 2021 โ€” but hasn't been there since.

The bottom line: The first correct answer came from Rodrigo M., who will get some unbelievably cool Axios swag and the undying respect of STEM nerds across the region.

This newsletter was edited by Bob Gee and copy edited by Carolyn DiPaolo.

Our picks:

๐ŸคŸ Tasha is wondering if her cats talk shit about her all day in their meow language.

๐Ÿž๏ธ Naheed is taking her dog for a stroll at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

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