By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
OK, two weeks. Two Buzz mentions [November 13 and 20]. It's time to set the record straight about how I am not John Tesh-like:
10. I'm not married to Connie Sellecca.
9. I've never been part of an infomercial and never will.
8. I would never use cheesy sex to sell a CD by calling it "Sax on the Beach."
7. John Tesh has sold 100 times more copies of his CDs than I have (see No. 8).
6. I would never be the commentator for gymnastics at the Olympics. Only luge.
5. Any given day at DISD is twice as exciting as anything you'd ever see on Entertainment Tonight.
4. He plays at Red Rocks. I play at Borders.
3. He makes money for KERA. I give money to KERA.
2. I've never sat next to Mary Hart or her million-dollar-insured legs.
1. He can afford a house on Swiss Avenue. I can't.
By the way, about that gathering you reported about on Swiss to which I was invited--yes, I was let in the front door, and yes, I met some good people and new friends. And, Buzz, I hold you and the Dallas Observer in the same high regard as other fine publications which are free for the taking.
The Dallas Observer's impact on the city cannot be overstated. Your willingness to publish investigative reports on significant events occurring in the city is most heartening, especially when contrasted with the "daily disappointment."
Platitudes aside, I would like to take Ms. [Miriam] Rozen to task for some carelessness displayed in her story, "One fine mess" [November 20]. My election in 1990 was not dependent on Mr. Scovell or the Dallas Breakfast Group. My election train was pulling into the station when they hopped on board for the last few blocks. I did appreciate the help. It allowed me to repay a personal loan I had made to finance my campaign. Subsequent to my election, Mr. Scovell or the Breakfast Group never attempted to influence my vote in any way.
There were, however, several extremely intense conversations with Mr. Scovell in 1994 regarding the central theme of Ms. Rozen's story, "basic moral character." The subjects of those conversations were Mr. [Bill] Keever and Mr. [Sandy] Kress. Mr. Scovell was warned specifically that "Mr. Kress had no principles."
Needless to say, I am disappointed to learn from Ms. Rozen's story that Mr. Scovell obviously took these conversations as a personal affront. It is extremely disappointing to learn that he personally chose Ms. [Lynda] McDow to replace me as another "yes woman" for the DISD Board of Trustees.
As you and Ms. Rozen continue your investigation into DISD, I would appreciate not being thrown in the same barrel with Mr. Kress and Mr. Keever. Some of us did not sell out.
Editor's note: Ed Grant, a former DISD trustee, is certainly entitled to hindsight. But we stand by our story.
Excellent story on the DISD mess by Miriam Rozen, and about who really should be blamed for this Yvonne Gonzalez travesty. The Dallas power elite still run this city behind the scenes, and things will only change when more of these backroom deals and power plays are exposed and cracks of democracy emerge.
As for the anonymous letter writer in the same issue about the arena deal, I agree with most points, except that Ross Sr. set a better example for Ross Jr. A quick check shows that Ross Sr. got rich primarily off of government contracts through EDS, and at one time was Washington's biggest lobbyist, making his remarks and campaign against lobbyists and getting big government out of our lives all the more hypocritical. Ross Jr. is only doing what his dad taught him to do.
In your article on John Scovell and his influence on the DISD Board of Trustees, you state that Scovell "...starred as quarterback for Texas Tech, the university where he...helped take his team to the Cotton Bowl. "
Texas Tech has appeared in the Cotton Bowl only twice--in 1939 (seven years prior to Scovell's birth) and in 1995 (at age 48, he would have been the oldest member of the team).
While this fact does not change the thrust of your story, or my personal belief that there is indeed a group of powerful business leaders who influence both city and school politics in Dallas, it does call into question the ability of your reporter to verify the accuracy of even simple assertions in her story.
With that said, thank you for your continuing coverage of the shenanigans in both the DISD and the city. If we had to rely on the reporting of the other media outlets in town, Gonzalez would still be in power and pillaging the poor schoolchildren of Dallas.
Editor's note: The author of this letter is correct. Texas Tech did not go to the Cotton Bowl when John Scovell was its quarterback. We regret the error.
Laura Miller's article ["Flying blind," November 20] makes clear what many of us have long suspected: City Manager [John] Ware and Mayor [Ron] Kirk were never motivated to cut a fair deal with the team owners--they were just committed to negotiate away whatever it takes in order to secure this dubious "trophy" as one of downtown's attractions. The team owners knew this and took full advantage of the situation. The fact that it may be the worst deal a city has can avoid the wrath of the chamber of commerce and business community for "losing the Mavericks."