Five stories that have North Texas talking: President Bush to unveil more of his art; the head of ExxonMobil joins a lawsuit against fracking; public art at your bus station; and more.
- President George W. Bush is a budding artist – and soon he’ll have an exhibition to show off his paintings. The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy is scheduled to open in early April at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and will feature more than two dozen never-before-exhibited portraits painted by Bush. The exhibit will explore the relationships that Bush forged with world leaders to shape international policy. “Portraits will be accompanied by artifacts, photographs, and personal reflections to help illustrate the stories of relationships formed on the world stage,” the library says. (Last November, Bush gave Jay Leno a portrait of the talk show host. Then, during the holidays, the Bush Center sold a cardinal ornament painted by the former president.) The library also announced its Christmas exhibit — All Creatures Great and Small: Christmas at the White House 2002, which will be the second in a series of holiday exhibits.
- Not even the head of ExxonMobil wants fracking operations in his neighborhood. Rex Tillerson, who lives in Bartonville, which is north of Flower Mound in Denton County, has joined his neighbors in a suit against a water tower that would be used in part for fracking and drilling operations. The Wall Street Journal reports (via StateImpact Texas) that Tillerson has been showing up at town hall meetings to protest the tower. “He and his neighbors had filed suit to block the tower, saying it is illegal and would create ‘a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,’ in part because it would provide water for use in hydraulic fracturing,” the Journal reports. “He told officials that he and his wife settled in Bartonville to enjoy a rural lifestyle and invested millions in their property after satisfying themselves that nothing would be built above their tree line, according to the council’s audio recording of the meeting.” Tillerson told the council: “I cannot stay in a place where I do not know who to count on and who not to count on.”
- The Dallas City Council is considering proposed limits on public speakers – and council member Carolyn Davis expressed her displeasure Monday. “People have the right to come down to City Hall,” Davis told the council’s Quality of Life Committee, according to The Dallas Morning News. “You guys don’t own City Hall. You just happen to be elected officials.” She added: “We’re acting like dictatorships.” The News reports that Davis “walked out of the meeting shortly before the committee voted in support of limiting speakers to once every 30 days.” The full council will consider the proposal Wednesday. “Under current rules, anyone who has spoken at the beginning of a meeting within the past 30 days can only speak again within that 30-day period at the end of a council meeting,” The News reports. “The new rule would bar anyone from speaking at the meetings twice within a 30-day period.”
- A recent cover story about state Sen. Wendy Davis in The New York Times Magazine has generated controversy – and a response from the newspaper’s public editor. The story was headlined: “Can Wendy Davis Have It All?” One reader told the Times: “You are using … the stupid comment: Can she have it all? Women are offended because you would NEVER ask that of a male candidate.” The public editor, Margaret Sullivan, chimed in: “Despite its well-intentioned efforts, this piece managed to trip over a double standard with its detailed examination of Ms. Davis’s biography, including her role in raising her two daughters. … Beginning the reader’s experience with the outdated ‘Have It All’ headline didn’t help, nor did the subheadline: ‘A Texas-Size Tale of Ambition, Motherhood and Political Mythmaking,’ which comes close to suggesting that Ms. Davis is spinning a big lie. Together, they curdle the piece that follows. A description in the second paragraph of Ms. Davis’s ‘fitted black dress and high heels’ and her omnipresent half smile does little to ease the reader’s suspicions.”
- Public art has been unveiled at the T’s Sierra Vista Transit Plaza in southeast Fort Worth. The T says: “The artwork was created to uniquely reflect the neighborhoods and community surrounding the transit plaza, while visually and thematically connecting with the adjacent Berry-Riverside Urban Village Streetscape and Public Art Project.” The T selected local area artists Larry Enge and Charlotte Lindsay of Montage 48/71 Studio to design the artwork.