Arlington Metro (Part II)

Wednesday, April 3, 1996 Arlington, Gateway to Pantego

Debbie M. Price
COMMENTARY

Send not to
learn for whom
the broom comes

I meant to write this column last week, but other things got in the way. That is the way it is with life--things get in the way of things. While some things can be handled quickly--a pink slip here or measured tongue lash there--at the end of the day, still more things always seem to be left over.

As I write this, I have on my desk a pile of things, all seeming to need my immediate attention. Something is always getting in the way of what is important, until something else pulls us up short.

Which is why I have been planning to write this column.
Of all the Disney characters, my favorites have always been the dancing brooms in Fantasia. I hope the dancing brooms would like me too, should we ever meet.

For the past few weeks, we here at the Star-Telegram have often felt like dancing brooms. We have been overwhelmed with plans to expand our newspaper, which is not a "failing newspaper" no matter what anyone tells you, and what do they know anyway?

We--well, certainly me--have spent more hours than mere mortals can even imagine, attempting to develop nothing less than a complete redefinition of journalism in the free world as we know it. Frankly, I don't know if anyone else in the industry would have been up to the task.

And I do it all for you, Arlington.
We have made some mistakes in our haste to improve the newspaper--colossal, embarrassing mistakes. One day, because of a production error, we called the U.N. General Secretary a "gas-filled, opium-snarfing chipmunk."

Things happen. Heads roll. Life goes on.

At the time, things may seem like the end of the world. Until we stop and consider what is truly important. Like our families, our faith, our friends.

With journalism, that's been the case for too long, which is why the Star-Telegram is announcing its new Find Waldo in The Weather Map Contest.

When I was a little girl, my parents always taught me that the joy was in the search, the quest its own reward. Is that not so true even today?

Readers who find Waldo in the weather map will be eligible for free passes to Disneyland, and will also receive a free sucker from my personal stash.

You like suckers, don't you? And you'll like our newspaper. Before Disney's brooms come for me.

We're still Arlington's only real daily newspaper
By Joe Cutbirth
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, still the only daily newspaper serving Arlington, plans to vigorously expand its commitment to the 56th largest city in the United States of America, Star-Telegram President and Publisher Rich Connor announced Tuesday.

The paper will host free weekly barbecues, offer hot air balloon rides to longtime subscribers, and pay every reader's parking tickets during the month of April, Connor said. "Newspapers must be creative to survive," he added. "We know what Arlingtonians expect from their newspaper, and we plan to deliver."

The efforts are not related to the recent startup of another almost-daily newspaper in the area, Connor said. Rather, they reflect the Star-Telegram's "historical commitment to our friends and neighbors in Arlington, the Gateway to Dalworthington Gardens."

To strengthen the paper's ties with Arlingtonians, all remaining Star-Telegram writers and editors will be required to perform 20 hours a week of volunteer service in Arlington, such as delivering meals to the elderly or picking up roadside litter.

"They will do it. They will smile," said Debbie Price, Star-Telegram vice president and executive editor.

Leading by example, Connor himself recently volunteered to drive youths from an Arlington recreation center to their weekly clogging class. Price has volunteered to counsel suicidal journalists.

"Arlington, we'll be there for you," Connor said.
In addition, the paper intends to expand its coverage of Arlington, including comprehensive Little League scores, local Luby's lunch specials, and weekly tips on swimming-pool maintenance.

Because the paper's staff has dwindled in recent months, Connor said, Arlington civic and business leaders will be invited to cover themselves by submitting stories for publication. "This is an opportunity for us to formalize our longstanding efforts to be receptive to the community we cover," Connor said.

The paper will also attempt to become more interactive with its readers. Arlington subscribers will be able to earn special awards and bonuses under a soon-to-be created Star-Telegram Frequent Reader Program.

Households purchasing a one-year subscription to the paper will receive a case of Skoal and a coupon good for one free obituary (subject to availability of space). Readers can also win passes to Disneyland by finding Waldo in the weather map. (See related column, this page.)

"No one practices journalism the way we plan to practice journalism," Connor said.

(More on US on Page 2)

Castration called 'Good for Arlington'

Area lawmakers, leaders pledge no mercy on crime
By Jackie Koszczuk
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

WASHINGTON--Responding to a "creeping sense of unease" that has gripped Arlington for the past several months, Congressman Martin Frost announced Wednesday that he will introduce legislation toughening penalties for criminals caught in Arlington.

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