By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
One man's trash is another's news story, at least at The Dallas Morning News.
On Tuesday, the News devoted 47 column inches to an article and photo about an Irving man, Jesse Rincon, who believes he has found a historic homestead on a vacant lot behind his house. Rincon has dug up old bottles, horseshoes, and what he says are rusted rifle parts.
But the jewels of his find are "parts of at least six simple concrete tablets," bearing all or part of the names Monier or Monray. The story featured a photo of the beaming Rincon holding up what he believes--and the News didn't contradict him--is a part of a family grave marker.
Buzz hates to rain on anyone's parade--no, really, we do--but what Rincon had in his hands is a piece of roof tile, as in MonierLifetile, a California-based company formerly known as Monier-Monray that has an operation in Duncanville.
Jesse, you found a trash heap.
"Yeah, it's probably one of our products," a company spokesman said. "If you turn the product over, it's probably going to have color."
Amateur archaeologists ourselves, Buzz was able to track down the company using a complex scientific technique not available to the average reporter: We looked in the phone book. Too bad Rincon didn't find any old chicken bones, or the News might have treated us to a full-page story about the latest dinosaur find: Dailysaurus ignoramus.
Last week, Channel 8-WFAA City Hall reporter Dave Evans breathlessly told viewers that Dallas and Fort Worth were this close to settling their lawsuits over Love Field. According to Evans, Dallas and Fort Worth had agreed to allow through-ticketing from Love Field to all other destinations. As it stands now, passengers flying to any city other than those in Texas or the four adjacent states must exit their plane and recheck their bags before heading to their destination.
The alleged compromise agreement was supposed to supplant Congress' decision to expand the Wright Amendment to allow planes to fly to three additional states, plus allow reconfigured planes with 56 seats or fewer to fly to any destination.
The problem with Evans' report is that it wasn't true, according to Bruce Leadbetter, the lead investor in Legend Airlines, the upstart that convinced Congress to change the Wright Amendment.
"The only way the two cities can reach a settlement is for the federal government to agree they have jurisdiction," Leadbetter says. "It's a little like all the rabbits getting together and voting on vegetarianism. Sometimes you have to consult the fox. In this case, the fox is the federal government. And who would want to be the person to put the bell on the cat? Who would want to go to Washington and say, 'You didn't know what you were doing.'"
Hopelessly mixed metaphors aside, Leadbetter's guess is that the two mayors are pretending to negotiate until a judge says, "'It's none of your business.'"
Late deadlines forced us to miss it, but Buzz sure would have welcomed the chance to take a break from the Deep Ellum club scene for some real entertainment Tuesday: live eye surgery.
Dr. Jeffrey Whitman, described in his News ad as one of the "most experienced laser doctors," offered all comers a chance to watch as he performed the vision-correcting procedure LASIK on a patient this past Tuesday. (The ad reminded us of something for a furniture close-out sale.)
What the good doctor lacks in taste and medical decorum, he certainly makes up for in salesmanship.
One problem with Whitman's pitch, though: To boost his audience, he offered a drawing for free Mavericks tickets. Doc, the thought of watching the Mavs play is enough to make a basketball fan wish he were blind.
The truth hurts
When Buzz called the Mansion On Turtle Creek a couple of weeks back to speak with Wayne Broadwell on another matter, we were told that he was on a "well-deserved vacation" with an uncertain return date. Since then, Dallas has learned that the longtime maitre d' was fired, a fact that Broadwell says he heard from a waiter at Parigi. When Broadwell confronted Mansion management, he was given the choice to resign or be fired. He didn't resign.
"I had the carpet pulled out from under my feet," Broadwell says. "They didn't give me anything. Nothing. Not even earned vacation days."
What was the reason for his ouster? Broadwell speculates it was a response to a question by D magazine writer Nancy Nichols, who was working on a cover story about "Dallas dining secrets."
"She was obviously looking for an angle, because she posed the same question to Franco Bertolasi [The Riviera] and George [Majdalani, Star Canyon and AquaKnox]. They both tap-danced around it, as I did."
Apparently, Broadwell is no Fred Astaire.
What was the question? Broadwell says he was asked in succession if it would take a $20, $50 or $100 bill to get a table at the Mansion.
"A hundred dollar bill is an attention-getter and reprioritizes everything," is Broadwell's alleged answer. Broadwell says he was misquoted. "I would have never said that because I can't even say that word," he replies, stumbling over "reprioritizes." According to Broadwell, D writer Kimberly Goad met with him last week to do a follow-up story.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams
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