Look back in confusion

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

Hunt appears to defend public investment in his Reunion Hyatt development weeks after a divided council grants him a $3 million tax abatement for a planned expansion of the hotel. His appearance sparks a reaction that the Morning News describes as a "tizzy."

Mayor Pro Tem Mary Poss leads the faithful in genuflecting before the godfather of Dallas' big developers, thanking Hunt for the bountiful blessings he has bestowed on the city in exchange for their tithing of tax breaks and cheap land.

"Gosh, we're sorry we didn't thank you sooner," Poss tells Hunt.
Only Laura Miller, whose heart verily is hardened, expresses some skepticism at Hunt's benevolence. She returns home later that evening to find her yard swarming with toads and locusts.

OCTOBER

Wanted: one messiah
DISD trustees begin soliciting opinions from the community about what qualities they desire in Dallas' next school superintendent.

Board member Jose Plata says, "I want the Messiah. I want someone who is incorruptible."

Ray Hunt isn't available, so trustees set their sights a bit lower, saying they're looking for "someone who can add and won't steal much."

One banana, two banana
Researchers at Columbia University announce they have found evidence that some monkeys have a rudimentary sense of numbers and are able to roughly count up to eight items.

DISD trustees turn their search for a new superintendent toward the Dallas Zoo.

Long Don gone
Don "Boogie Nights" Venable resigns his seat on the DISD board to "explore opportunities in film."

Going, going, gone
DISD auctions off the furniture purchased with stolen district funds by former Superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez. The items sold include Ming Dynasty reproductions and ornate cherrywood pieces--among them a six-piece bedroom set in a French flower design.

The winning bidder, at $8,100, is Madame Latour's Goodtime Nookery just outside Reno, Nevada.

Required reading
The U.S. Olympic Committee tells organizers of Dallas' private bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics that they must show the city council all significant paperwork involved in the city's bid, after chief Olympics booster Tom Luce refuses to turn over the proposed bid agreement to council member Laura Miller.

Several city council members will later complain that they fear they will be inundated with paperwork to read, and say they only want to be given "the important stuff--as long as it doesn't have any real hard words."

A child shall lead them
Mayor Kirk holds his first town hall meeting with Dallas children at City Hall, shaking hands, signing autographs, and fielding questions, including one from an 11-year-old boy who asks what it's like to be mayor of a big city.

His reply: "I'll tell you, kid, sometimes it can be a real kick in the ass, dealing with all of these sons-of-bitches and their up-and-down fucking attitudes."

NOVEMBER

Three banana, four
More than 41,000 votes are not tallied on election night because of a glitch in Dallas County's new $3.8 million tabulation system. County commissioners order election officials to look into acquiring some monkeys.

Go time
Tempers flare as the city council debates whether to require Dallas Olympic organizers to provide council members with copies of all documents related to the bid.

Laura Miller and fellow council member Barbara Mallory Caraway get into a shouting match after Caraway accuses Miller of needless bickering and Miller says, "Let's get personal," asking Caraway how much money she receives from the Dallas Citizens Council, a business lobbying group.

The next day, TCI cable and boxing promoter Don King announce a joint venture to begin airing the city government's access channel on pay-per-view.

DECEMBER

Rogues gallery
City council members begin nominating appointees to a new ethics committee. Created over the objection of Mayor Kirk and at the insistence of Laura Miller, the panel will review and recommend changes to the city's code of ethics.

In what we suspect is an effort at payback for Miller, council member Don Hicks nominates former council member Chris Luna to the panel, and Barbara Mallory Caraway names her husband, Dwaine Caraway. Both were targets of Miller's acid-dipped pen when she was an Observer columnist.

Not to be outdone, other Miller opponents on the council begin sifting through her old high school yearbooks, searching for jilted former boyfriends who might be willing to serve on the ethics committee.

The fat lady warms up her voice
Capping a year of fruitless negotiations and legal wrangling, the U.S. Department of Transportation endorses federal control over Love Field flights. The decision is at odds with an earlier ruling by a Fort Worth state district judge that restricted long-haul flights from Love because, he said, they would violate a contract between Fort Worth and Dallas intended to protect DFW International.

The move is good news for upstart Legend Airlines, which prompted the fight when it began plans to start flying jets from Love in a direct challenge to behemoth American Airlines.

Showing that crush-'em-at-all-costs spirit that made it so beloved among Dallas air travelers, American announces that it will begin equipping all its flights at DFW with Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

Must be that new math
City officials announce that a shortfall in the municipal pension fund has reached $26 million because managers overestimated returns on investments. The news comes despite years of declarations by former City Manager John Ware that the fund was in fine shape.

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