Beyond crappy
Laura, great article ["Priced to sell out," November 6], but unfortunately the deal is even worse than you presented, because the super-rich owners are not going to have $110 million in it by any stretch of the imagination. First they are free to sell ticket licenses or bonds, which will bring in $20-$40 million. Then there are the (never-mentioned) naming rights, which will very likely be sold for, say, $10-$30 million. Lastly there will no doubt be up-front location or slotting allowances ($5-$15 million), as they are called in the food business, from the vendors who want access to charge otherworldly prices for fast food inside the arena, though Greed Bowl would be a better name for this shameless reverse-Robin Hood hustle.

Ross Perot Sr., where are you? Is there any substance to your railing against the money game played in Washington? If so, you should be ashamed of your son's deal here. On the face of it, it goes against everything I have ever heard you say about special interests using the power of their money to feed at the public's expense. Shame on you, junior; this is beneath your and your family's very honorable track record of public service and contribution. You've lost your perspective if you think this is anything but the worst kind of corporate welfare bottom-feeder tournament. Using the power of government to take money from the little guy when he rents a car or stays in Motel 6 to give to cheap billionaires...is laughable. Mr. Perot, your good name is worth a lot more than this deal is worth. If you want a new facility for your business, then build one. Charge anything you like for admission, and take the same risk every other businessman in this town does. That's how your father built his amazing fortune and good name.

Via e-mail

I have always considered the Dallas Observer much too liberal for my conservative posture, but sneaking (a peek at) a copy of an article by Laura Miller has almost always proven to be illuminating. Laura's article on the arena deal is worthy of praise. It is well researched and factual. My hat is off to her efforts, and thanks for the illumination.

Larry Ward

Cold dish
I know that it has been several months now that Mary Brown Malouf stopped writing for the Observer, but if I may ask--Why? I am hoping that she will return, because with Mr. Stuertz at the helm, "Dish" is consistently being served cold.

Mark Stuertz seems as if he has some anger built up at every chef and every restaurant he has ever encountered.

I think there are probably three potential causes for this. One, he tried to become a chef, but had an excruciating experience and vowed to write horrible reviews on all eating establishments. Two, he might have been a budding young restaurateur who wanted to climb the ladder of management, but found out that the road was a rough one, and here again vowed to criticize and attempt to destroy all restaurants. Or three, he was a customer at a diner and did not receive his food quickly enough and from that moment on swore to get his revenge!

OK, maybe those are extremes, but from reading his reviews, one would think that there was not a single restaurant in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that was even worth stepping inside. I think he may have only done one, possibly two, "positive" reviews since he began his stint at the Dallas Observer.

I realize what his job entails, and I am by no means saying that he should ignore any negative aspects of his dining experience, but I am saying that maybe he should try actually looking for some positive things happening at the restaurants.

One of the worst things about a food writer who takes a consistent negative angle is that he isn't guiding readers to an enjoyable dining experience, but instead trying to get them all to stay at home and eat TV dinners.

Matt Tredemeyer
Via e-mail

Eye on Bob
Thanks for keeping Tilton-ists informed of the latest shenanigans of the soul man of South Beach ["Second coming," November 6]. I just never will understand the rush of humanity to make the fakes rich!

Via e-mail

Add to the count
Christine Biederman's "Mr. Passion" [October 23] was an enjoyable, informative look at the romantic book biz in Dallas, but when she writes that "Fogelman is one of at least three prominent book peddlers currently operating in Dallas," she's one short. Jim Donovan has been a literary agent for several years and has sold dozens of books, mostly to the big New York publishers and some of them for a lot of money. He's got a sterling reputation as a legitimate book agent, and he's a damn good one. He recently sold two of my books to St. Martin's Press in New York. Just thought you might want to know the whole story.

Jim Dent

Not likely
I don't know how people who live on Lower Greenville do it ["Houses of blues," November 13]. I can empathize with putting up with drunk people. I am not much of a drinker myself, but I do enjoy live music. I find it sad that so many people can't seem to have a good time without drinking. One day, maybe some brave enterprising soul will open a non-alcohol club and find more success than he or she expected.

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