By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Roof-raising good time
Just wanted to set you straight on your information campaign about our thriving little metropolis of Grand Prairie, 'twixt big dirty D and Cowtown. While we appreciate all of the free press we can get about our Festival of Peace, Light, and Sheetrock ["A tale of two cities," October 24], you failed to mention our evangelical efforts to convert roofers from cedar to composition shingles.
We set up a revival tent out near the railroad tracks the week following the festival and invite cedar-shingle roofers from throughout the United States and Canada--giving the event a truly international flavor--and put 'em up at a couple of the finer motels out on the county line. We bring in the right Reverend Billy Sol Hargus from Del Rio, Texas, to preach about the evil of selling cedar shakes to folks that ought not to have 'em--which is pretty much anybody who has a roof.
You would think that an effort like this--while definitely falling into the category of doing His work--would be pretty draining on the budget of a small city like Grand Prairie, what with putting these big strappin' fellas up in such luxurious digs. But since most roofers in the state already live here, it's really not that expensive, and we get a hell of a deal on the tent.
We're also the off-season home for some of the finest charismatic evangelists ever to pick a redneck crowd clean, and they charitably donate the use of the tent to us. They ask nothing more for their trouble than a large tax-deductible receipt stamped with the city seal.
So, you see, we're more than just a wide spot in the road. Oh, and by the way, think about the way you pooh-poohed our animal sacrifices the next time you order up a dish of live Maine lobster in one of them fancy eateries in North Dallas. It's a little easier when you can't hear 'em scream, ain't it?
Eye of the beholder
Given your status as an "alternative" newspaper, I don't expect unbiased reporting. Part of the enjoyment of reading the Dallas Observer is its unrelenting lack of objectivity, but normally your writers at least attempt to make their cases. The recent diatribes against WRR-FM 101.1, however, are lacking in that regard ["Static quo," September 19; "Promise keeper?" October 24].
Uncovering evidence of bad management and poor business decisions is illuminating and food for thought, but characterizing WRR's programs as "crappy" isn't telling us anything. Crappy as compared to what? Howard Stern? John Boy and Billy? How have you come to this conclusion? Have you compared WRR to other classical stations throughout the country?
Glen Warchol asserts that there are "many" reasons that Dallas should sell WRR, but really only lists one: that it is badly managed. The fact that it "doesn't make much" money is not a reason; I hear the library doesn't make any money at all. And the fact that its license is worth $50 million is meaningless; the land on which the convention center sits is worth a bunch, I'll bet. If the City of Dallas were to unload all its assets that are badly managed, what would be left?
WRR is a continuous source of revenue, and provides service to Dallas and surrounding communities by broadcasting council meetings and Dallas Symphony Orchestra programs, as well as other enlightening fare. If there are management problems, just fix them.