October 04, 2021
Happy Monday and welcome to the Axios Dallas newsletter! We're Mike and Tasha, and we're truly grateful you’ve given us your time. We won’t waste it.
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🌞 Today's weather: Sunny all day, high of 88, low of 63. Still summerish.
Situational awareness: Today's the last day to register to vote in Dallas.
Today's newsletter is 852 words — a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: 💘 Dating apps get political
Texas-based dating apps are responding to the state's new abortion law with in-app features and "relief funds" for those affected.
Why it matters: Everything is political, especially romance. The moves illustrate the wide-ranging fallout of the law, which is likely to drive election turnout and future legislation.
The big picture: OKCupid, owned by Dallas-based Match Group, recently launched a "pro-choice" badge users can display on their profiles.
- Every time a user adds the badge, the company will donate a dollar to Planned Parenthood.
- OKCupid also allows users to sort potential matches by views on racial equality, climate change and vaccination status.
Match and Austin-based Bumble have also pledged funding to help those affected by the abortion law.
- In a company-wide email, Match CEO Shar Dubey said she was "shocked" by the law, calling it "regressive."
What they're saying: "Dating apps aren't disconnected from the real world," OKCupid's chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley tells Axios. "What you're into and what you believe is hot and sexy to a lot of people. Bringing that substance improves your chance of finding someone who's right for you."
By the numbers: Hobley says some of the trends OKCupid has seen include ...
- In Texas, 87% of men and 95% of women using OKCupid identify as pro-choice.
- Nationwide, the number of people on the app calling themselves pro-choice is up 18% over the last year.
- Mentions of "Planned Parenthood supporter" in Texas profiles have more than doubled in the same time.
2. 🐦 Why Dallas goes "lights out" every fall
Businesses and residents are being asked to turn off nonessential lights between 11pm and 6am to help reduce light pollution that harms migrating birds.
- Nocturnally migrating birds are attracted to and disoriented by artificial lighting, which often leads to their death.
- Buildings in Dallas, including the Omni Hotel and Reunion Tower, will dim lights through Oct. 17.
- Fort Worth is turning off its lights until Nov. 30.
Why it matters: Hundreds of millions of migratory birds pass through North Texas every year, on their way south. Jacob Poinsett, program manager with the Trinity Audubon Center, calls Dallas a "central flyway for bird migration."
- Many of these birds are pollinators and are vital to ecosystems all over the continent.
Details: A study published earlier this year shows that turning off unnecessary lights can reduce bird collisions by 60%.
According to the National Audubon Society, residents can help save migrating birds by:
- Turning off exterior decorative lighting.
- Extinguishing floodlights.
- Reducing atrium lighting wherever possible.
- Turning off interior lighting, especially on higher stories.
3. 📲 Screen Time with District Attorney John Creuzot
Before becoming Dallas County district attorney in 2019, John Creuzot spent more than 20 years as a felony judge. Since taking office, he has focused on relaxing marijuana prosecution and reducing mass incarceration.
As part of our regular Screen Time feature, we will examine how some of the most powerful people in North Texas interact with technology.
- Here's how Creuzot clicks ...
📱 Device of choice: Android, despite my son's teasing.
👇 First tap of the day: I check my texts and then check my news apps.
📰 Go-to news sources: the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News and my Google News app.
🎶 On rotation: I listen to '60s and '70s soul and rock 'n' roll. I like the Classic Vinyl station on my satellite car radio.
🎧 Podcast of choice: I prefer watching old speeches on YouTube. I've nearly run out of JFK.
🗞️ Most used app: Probably the New York Times.
📚 Reading list: I enjoy existentialism in literature. I just finished reading "The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan".
- I read a lot of legal history, Supreme Court history and WWII history.
- My favorite short book is "San Manuel Bueno, Mártir" by Miguel de Unamuno.
- Kafka is also a favorite.
Know someone we should talk to for our next Screen Time? Reach out and tell us who.
Editor's note: Before she started at Axios, Tasha worked as Creuzot's media relations manager.
4. Burnt Ends
😱 A Dallas man got a $56,384 ER bill for a coronavirus test. (NPR)
🛬 American Airlines will no longer employ unvaccinated people. (NYT)
🙈 Neiman Marcus informed 4 million customers about a data breach. (CBSDFW)
🦂 Donald Trump called the ongoing Texas election audit "weak." (DMN)
🪧 Thousands of people marched through downtown Dallas on Saturday to protest the new Texas abortion law. (WFAA)
5. 🎡 The other giant Ferris wheel in North Texas
The towering Grandscape Wheel had its grand opening at Grandscape in The Colony last month.
- The ride is the newest addition to the sprawling $1.5 billion retail-and-entertainment development, which already had a smaller, not-so-grand Ferris wheel.
- The wheel features 41 gondolas that seat eight people each and one VIP gondola, with a glass floor and "Ferrari-style" leather seating for four.
By the numbers:
- 📏 Grandscape Wheel is 180 feet tall, just shy of the 212-foot Texas Star at the State Fair.
- ⏱️ The average ride takes 12 to 15 minutes.
- 🎟️ Regular tickets cost between $12.01 and $15.94 per person.
- 💸 VIP tickets are $49.88.
Views from the top: It seems ... well, not exactly grand. It's fine. You can see Frisco.
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