Dallas’ inland port: What is it and why should you care?

The Morning News has been making a big deal out of its "DMN Investigates" group — there’s a picture in an advertisement that has the pictures of something like 40 reporters who make up the unit (I did see the soon-to-be-departed Kent Fischer’s picture there, too, so maybe it’s 39 reporters now).

Anyway, the first big DMN Investigates project I’ve seen was published Sunday: "How port, politics collided; The word ‘shakedown’ left developer, southern Dallas leaders in a dust-up." It’s a two-page spread that talks in detail about the so-called inland port that the Allen Group is developing in South Dallas (we’ve talked about it before here briefly at Back Talk) that is being hyped as something that can create 30,000 or so jobs over time. For Oak Cliff residents, it’s potentially a neighborhood-changing development — after all, most of the people filling those jobs probably wouldn’t mind living close to the job.

Without going into detail, which is basically what the story is all about, the DMN tells the tale of Dallas County politics, real estate development, money — there’s pretty much everything there but sex. The DMN story is told well, from what I can tell, and it sheds a lot of light on the issue that really has been followed and championed by Jim Schutze and the Dallas Observer.

There’s no point in trying to summarize the whole story any more than that; it’s too long and too complicated to synthetize. if you’re interested in the future of the city’s development south of the Trinity and the problems to be faced there, you should make some time to read the DMN’s version, and also go back and look at some of Schutze’s work.

Bottom line: If the Morning News can frequently address controversial issues and do this kind of storytelling (I hesitate to call it reporting since Schutze has already done the heavy lifting here), we’ll all be better off.


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