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Disbelief Suspends Over A Freeway: Klyde Warren Park Opens

Shelley Kofler

Updated: Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas parks it, Fort Worth cemetery bike ride, people who really DO buy $350,000 cars and more.

If you’re not one of the lucky and agile who secured a wristband for the opening-night concert at Klyde Warren Park on Saturday, there’s still a lot going on for the public at the deck greenspace over Woodall Rogers once the ribbon’s cut at about 10:15 a.m.

Here’s one idea, though: Just walk around and look at plants.

Yes, plants: native plants, even. Landscape architect James Burnett explained to KERA’s Shelley Kofler how 322 trees -- great Shumard Red Oaks among them -- are rooted just 6 feet or so above the freeway tunnel. (One of the secrets is a kind of styrofoam soil.) Burnett shared a complete guide to Klyde Warren’s flora, which we’ve embedded in that post. The park will be an ideal place for city kids young and old to learn their Texas Sage from their yellow coreopsis.

And relax: There’ll be no Frankenstorm in our neck of the woods, though 60-degree October weather feels just a bit freakish.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Robotic Domination On Debut Weekend: Chessmageddon!

While we’re on the topic … A veritable cornucopia of things await first-time Klyde Warren Park visitors, including knitting, yoga, mahjong, dog training, tai chi, movie screenings and 50 more free events.

Honestly, you’ll be shirking your duties as an organic life form if you miss out on this par-tay. Especially with the revelation that students (and robots) from UTD will be on hand to demonstrate “Robot Chess!"

Will it involve a menacing self-aware computer with an ominous voice? Oversized robotic hands swirling around a digital chessboard? Maybe. Actually, we have no idea, but we’re willing to bet it’ll be worth the wait.

Here’s one video from UTD outlining a possible precursor to Saturday’s demonstration.

BTW: Terminator’s 28th anniversary is Saturday, and Sarah Connor is likely headed south.

-- Justin Martin

Planned Parenthood Will Officially Lose State Funding Nov. 1

We’ve been keeping closer watch on the Texas Women’s Health Program since April, when the state legislature banned Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday turned down a request by Planned Parenthood to hear the case again. So although the case could be appealed again, the clinics will stop getting state money as of Nov. 1.

The Dallas Observer’s Anna Merlan has a post on how it got to this point. Governor Rick Perry’s statement after the ruling:

"Today's ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women's Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion," he said. "In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice."

-- Lyndsay Knecht

The Mayor Rides Tonight: Trades Bike For Broomstick?

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is dressing up tonight for the final ride of her Tour de Fort Worth series.

It’s a Halloween costume ride to Pioneer’s Rest, one of Fort Worth’s oldest cemeteries. There, members of Historic Fort Worth will re-enact scenes, portraying notable figures in Cowtown’s early years.

The Mayor urges all riders to wear a costume, and have a light on your bike.  

The party starts at the T&P Tavern on West Lancaster at 6 tonight. 

-- BJ Austin

Neiman Marcus Christmas Book’s Cars Go Fast

Sorry, speedsters: The dozen, high-speed, high-priced ($354,000) McLaren 12C Spider sports cars offered in this year's Neiman Marcus Christmas Book have sold out. In less than two hours. The Wall Street Journal reports the cars first became available Wednesday.

Every year about this time, Dallas-based Neiman Marcus offers some extravagant,  over-the-top gift usually affordable to a fraction of the "1 percent."  This year, the McLaren became available to Neiman catalog buyers before the brand-new roadster went public. It's still not yet available. Arrival's scheduled for Christmas.

The purchase price comes with lagniappe:  first-class travel to the UK, two nights at a five-star hotel and spa, a tour of the McLaren Technology Center where the company designs and builds its cars, and dinner with McLaren chairman and race-team leader Ron Dennis.

The 12C Spider boasts 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, thanks to its 616 horsepower, turbo-charged V8 engine. Top speed is 204 mph. The hard top is retractable. Maybe the come-on exclusive freebies really sold the Spider: a special edition, numbered stainless badge AND a matching 3-piece McLaren luggage set.

Here’s a video about the car:

--Bill Zeeble

Pieces For The Weekend: Dancing With Your Doctor, Verbs With Punch

This morning’s StoryCorps installment about a tender, longtime doctor-patient relationship is a heartwarmer, but it felt especially relevant as I talked last week to a good friend who’s fighting through medical school. The mother of a longtime buddy of ours had just died after an awful battle with cancer, and my friend who’s bound for doctordom remembered explaining the biology of the disease to her after diagnosis. He was glad to just be able to sit across from her and impose some distance from unknown horrors by breaking down the  practicalities of nature.

On the lighter side: author Constance Hale brightly spoke (and deftly  broke) some storied  rules of language on Think this week. As host Krys Boyd mentioned, surely many a bar across the street from a university has seen a brawl break out over such matters as the split infinitive. Hale’s ruling: The practice is archaic and its sympathizers frustrating  to contend with.

-- Lyndsay Knecht