By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Neener, neener, neener
Long before Dallas public schools superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez began being measured for a prison jumpsuit (size not-petite), Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was going about town dishing out servings of crow. (The phrase "I told you so" tastes so sweet rolling off the tongue.)
Price, in a letter this week in The Dallas Morning News, underscored his foresight: "Dallas was so eager to ignore African-Americans when they chose Yvonne Gonzalez that they failed to heed sage advice. [Read, my advice.] In so doing, the school district and its board leadership have been stripped of both integrity and dignity."
It's a good measure of how low DISD has sunk that it's being offered lessons in integrity and dignity from Price, an outspoken leader in the shrill, self-serving race-baiting game that has plagued the district.
Before his letter, Price apparently delivered the same message in person around town. He, NAACP representative Lee Alcorn, and New Black Panther Party groupie Thomas Muhammad stopped for visits with the interim DISD superintendent and WFAA news director John Miller.
At WFAA, where Price years ago led protests outside the television station's headquarters to call attention to what he alleged was unfair portrayals of blacks, assistant news director Connie Howard says Price did have DISD on his mind. "But it didn't dominate the conversation," Howard insists.
There is some reason for touchiness at the station. Although Channel 8 broke the news about the tracking device Gonzalez allegedly ordered put on her opponent Matthew Harden's car, WFAA used to be the place where Gonzalez consistently got wonderful play. Not only did the station air a story about her hyped security concerns last August--which in retrospect appears to be a cover-up for her tracking activities--but it downplayed stories about her misrepresenting the costs of her office renovation. If the feds' allegations prove accurate--and Gonzalez did use DISD funds to pay for bedroom furniture for her house, hiding the expenditures in her office renovations--then Gonzalez's fudging on the renovations is the story.
What did Price discuss in his meeting with the interim superintendent? DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander only reported that the meeting was convivial--as if Price's opinion about DISD affairs really mattered after all.
Wanted: pied piper
Grab a brew and get ready to party, Dallas, it's official: October is Rodent Prevention Month. Mayor Ron Kirk's proclamation urges Dallasites to unite to "overcome the challenges presented by rodents." Buzz suggests a good place to begin rat-catching might be at the properties of some of the city's own code compliance officers, which, according to a new city audit, are not in the best of shape.
Or there's 3700 Ross Ave., where no doubt plenty of rats can be found deserting the sinking S.S. Gonzalez.
Perhaps the city needs a broader approach--its own pied piper, someone whose music can attract a devoted following of vermin. Buzz hears that rocker/TV anchor Ashleigh Banfield has some open gigs.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams