By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Pardon us while we strut our stuff.
Two weeks ago, staff writer Thomas Korosec reported on the crappy state of a privacy fence at the home of City Manager John Ware. Neighbors complained that the 6-foot fence around the back yard had been tipped over for at least four months. One section was bound with white coat-hanger wire.
Last week, someone fixed the fence--whether it was Ware or the home's owner, a Joy Lengyel, neighbors couldn't say.
In any event, it's nice to know that the city manager reads the paper and is so quick to jump when we speak. Now if only we could get him to return our phone calls.
Apparently there is no end to the list of civic benefits (except maybe a winning basketball team) that pro-arena forces say flow from building a sports stadium downtown. Take longtime arena shill Steve Bartlett's recent comments on KERA-FM, in which the former mayor said that building Reunion arena had "significant impact" on growth in Deep Ellum.
OK, we might grant him one or two restaurants in the West End--but Deep Ellum?
"I've never heard that," says Mark Sonna, president of the Deep Ellum Association. "It's really an area that developed on its own...I would say the [Reunion] arena had nothing to do with developing Deep Ellum."
The number to call is...
Dallas' new 311 line for residents to call for non-emergency city services already has come in handy helping beautify the town. Callers have been using the line to phone in complaints about pesky "Yes! Let's build it" signs that sprung up in public rights-of-way over the weekend. (Imagine that, someone on the pro-arena side is taking unfair advantage of public property.)
Arena opponents, rather than yank the signs out themselves, have been referring complaints to the 311 line initiated with much fanfare last week by Mayor Ron Kirk. No doubt they savored the irony of having a service touted by our pro-arena mayor turned against the project.
Up in smoke
At long last, those fine public servants at DISD have released from their greedy grip the public records concerning the cost of the infamous Reunion Arena pep rally. (You remember: Yvonne Gonzalez on a bulldozer. Singing and dancing bureaucrats, etc.)
We suppose the holiday season had them feeling generous enough to comply with the state's open records law--four months after the rally.
Even now, Buzz is awestruck by how Gonzalez operated. There were the big bills--$10,000 of school children's money that went to rent the hall, $14,400 to cover the stage lighting, and another $15,000 for a company that put on the Jumbotron display.
But one item stood out as particularly emblematic of Gonzalez's administration: a $3,600 charge for an indoor pyrotechnic display. Yes, fireworks. They're expensive. They burn brightly and quickly, then fizzle out. Wasn't that what Gonzalez was all about?
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams