By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Laura knows babes
At last, Laura Miller does some real investigative journalism ["Combat zoning," September 19]. "A casting call for Baywatch could not have brought out more babes." Hey, now! I'm going to have to go to one of them there city council hearings.
Brats need friends, too
I believe the Dallas Observer was being unfair to Highland Park ["The price of privilege," September 26]. I am outraged at the insensitivity of the article. The "little rich kids," as you put it, have a hard enough time making friends from other vicinities because of the "bubble" theory.
I would like to inform all of Dallas that just because you live in Highland Park doesn't mean you're a snob or brat, just as being a minority race doesn't mean you are bad or evil.
In her article on WRR-FM ["Static quo," September 19], Holly Mullen referred more than once to [Sis] Carr as an octogenarian, and also as being in her eighth decade. This expression of ageism is surprising and disappointing. I can't think how it pertains to the issue of whether the city should sell WRR, can you?
As a faithful yet cynical reader of the Observer, I have always taken for granted that there must be some truth to the allegations of careless or willfully inaccurate reporting that commonly appear in the letters section. Now I have the proof, in Holly Mullen's tacky article about WRR, Dallas' sole remaining classical music radio station.
It is obvious that Mullen is not a regular listener. I have been listening to WRR for more than 10 years and I can't remember the last time I heard a composer's name mispronounced; it simply doesn't happen. Nor is it true that "symphonies are often truncated in the interest of time." And I don't think WRR's promotions are any sillier than those of many other radio stations.
A far more serious journalistic flaw than these niggling inaccuracies, however, is Mullen's failure to come to grips with the essential issues of her topic. She claims that under independent management, WRR could be a gold mine. She then turns around and suggests that the city could sell the station with a requirement that the format remain classical. But she never seriously addresses the issue of whether the station could become that gold mine without changing formats!
Where are the real facts and figures to back up these claims? She cites one example, Seattle's KING, but provides no numbers indicating that station's profitability, nor of the profitability of classical stations in general. Instead, she wastes her time attacking the current station manager and the Friends of WRR (an organization to which, incidentally, I have never belonged), which may be good copy, but is irrelevant to the real issues.
I won't claim that I love everything about WRR. Personally, I dislike the morning and evening commuter formats, in place for the past several years, in which there is an attempt to provide "something for everyone" each hour: one overture, one waltz, one piece of movie music (which I detest), one Baroque piece--with nothing played that lasts more than 10 minutes or so. And yet, it is ironic that this change was made in an attempt to address the very issues for which Mullen tries to take the station to task!
Namely, to make the stations attractive to a wider range of listeners. But it is obvious that Mullen has never really listened to WRR; she's just out to do some typical journalistic muckraking. The bottom line--as the Friends of WRR recognize--is that any commercial sale will inevitably result in the loss of classical music radio programming in Dallas. And for me that would be one more nail in the coffin of cultural and political narrow-mindedness that make Dallas a less-than-ideal place to live.
Best lauds, and gripes
In your "Best Of Dallas" edition [September 26], your choice of Best Coffee Beans was ignorant at best. I happen to be employed by a coffee roaster/retailer/wholesaler, and with objectivity in mind I would like to educate you on a few bean-related items.
While fresh coffee is obviously important to achieving a great cup, the quality of the beans in the first place is just as important. I'm sure you would agree that, like a fine winery won't use any old grape, a quality coffee roaster must select the best, too--Arabica beans hand-picked, grown at a high altitude under shade trees and under the proper climatic conditions. Most importantly, the roaster should taste the coffee crop before buying and not rely upon bean brokers to make selections.
You should also be aware that Cafe Society is not "Dallas' only in-town roaster." Metro is local, as is La Creme.