Look back in confusion

Buzz remembers the year that might have been and proves that not only the winners write the history

City Attorney Sam Lindsay states that neither deal violates the city's code of ethics.

Outraged, council member Laura Miller calls for revamping the ethics code, which is currently contained on a 3-by-5 index card and merely prohibits city employees or officials from dealing heroin on city property during business hours.

Art lover
President Clinton attends a fund-raising dinner at the home of Dallas arts patron Ray Nasher, where he raises at least $500,000 for Democratic causes. Viewing some of Nasher's sculpture collection afterward, Clinton notes that a female figure by Rodin "is kinda fat, but she's got a great pair of hoots."

Timber
The Downtown Improvement District and the Belo Foundation announce plans to "upgrade" Ferris Plaza by chopping down and replacing 21 mature live oaks. The plaza is located near the Morning News and Belo offices and is a roosting spot for those winged pooping machines called grackles. Tree preservationists, who will eventually succeed in blocking the plan, suspect that getting rid of the birds is the real motive for whacking down the trees. Their suspicions are confirmed when it is revealed that volunteers from Lake Highlands Boy Scout Troop 890 would have been in charge of clearing the trees.

JULY

Father of the *#@&! year
Less than a month after being named the YMCA's Dallas "Father of the Year," Mayor Ron Kirk is caught on tape in an unguarded moment as he returns a telephone call to Craig Flournoy, a Morning News reporter. Flournoy isn't in, but his voice-mail recorder continues to record Kirk after the mayor thinks he has hung up the phone.

"Fuck Craig Flournoy," the mayor says as he begins a tirade aimed at bothersome sons-of-bitches and his secretary's "up-and-down fucking attitude."

The religious right realizes they have lost a possible family-values candidate.

Just plain goofy
The state board of education votes to divest the Permanent School Fund of $43 million in Walt Disney Co. stock. Conservative board members say they are protesting Disney's distribution of violent and racy films. More likely, Disney is targeted for daring to defy homophobic Southern religious groups by offering Gay Days at its theme parks and health insurance to same-sex partners of its employees.

In response, Disney announces two new animated characters to join Mickey, Goofy, and the gang--Andy Armadillo, a wacky trailer-dwelling redneck, and Alice, his cousin and wife.

Operation Remove Excrement
A bitter controversy erupts in Carrollton after the city hires members of Lake Highlands Boy Scout Troop 890 to bulldoze a densely populated egret roost that officials say poses a health hazard.

Braving the cudgels of bloodthirsty Webelos, outraged residents gather injured birds from piles of brush and turn them over to a local animal-rescue agency. In response to hundreds of complaints, the Carrollton City Council suspends three city staff members and agrees to pay $126,000 to rehabilitate the surviving injured birds.

AUGUST

Candidate X
After dodging questions about his educational background for weeks, DISD school board candidate Richard Evans finally admits that he does not have a high school diploma, despite his previous claims that he graduated from Roosevelt High School. His support rapidly evaporates, but Evans stalwartly stays in the race, providing an example to at-risk students everywhere: Stay in school. Get a good education. Get a good job, or else you, too, might end up running for the Dallas school board one day.

Evans loses in a runoff to Se-Gwen Tyler.

Wanted: loaves and fishes
Dallas' Roman Catholic Diocese announces its intent to sell the historic St. Ann's school to raise money to pay its more than $23 million judgment to compensate the victims of pedophile priest Rudy Kos. The sale is delayed indefinitely after angry Hispanic parishioners attempt to have the building in the city's Little Mexico neighborhood declared a historic landmark.

In response, the diocese announces that bingo cards at Catholic charity events will now cost $3,000 each.

SEPTEMBER

Takes one to know one
In a speech at the Reform Party's national convention, Ross Perot Sr. calls President Clinton "mentally and emotionally unstable," says he has a "defective brain," and likens him to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein.

Buoyed by the news that a defective brain isn't a block to serving in the nation's highest office, convention delegates urge Perot to run for president in 2000.

The blue candidate
In a speech at City Hall's Flag Room, Mayor Ron Kirk announces that he will seek another term in office.

Moments after he exits the room apparently unaware that he is still wearing a wireless microphone, Kirk's voice is broadcast to stunned reporters saying, "God, I hate talking to those sons-of-bitches with their up-and-down fucking attitudes."

Don't let it happen again
In a bit of happy news, Rend Marine finishes dredging White Rock Lake a year early and $400,000 under budget. The joy is cut short when the company officials begin receiving death threats from other private contractors with government business, who warn Rend that if they "ever pull a stunt like that again, somebody will dredge you up from the bottom of a lake."

Close, but no cigar
It turns out the God's Salvation Church was off only by five months and a few miles, as God finally makes his metroplex appearance: Ray Hunt shows up at Dallas City Council chambers.

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