By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Ode to a flack
In more than 25 years as a public relations professional, I'm not sure I've ever read a more inaccurate or misleading article than Rose Farley's "The facilitator" [January 21]. Ms. Farley's portrayal of Christy Morrow is not only wrong, but it came across as a personal vendetta. The most alarming inaccuracy of the article was that Ms. Morrow did not follow the ground rules of the mediation and compromised the integrity of Albertson's by engaging with the media. Never was there a request from the mediator to refrain from interacting with the media. She never violated any stated or implied ground rules of the mediation or betrayed any confidential information discussed at the mediations. She has been respectful of the process and honest to all parties involved.
Ms. Morrow is one of the finest business associates I've ever had. She is dedicated to her clients and makes decisions based on integrity and what is ethically right. She also has great respect for journalists and the job they do. Ms. Farley was accurate about one thing--Ms. Morrow earns her paycheck. More people in every profession should be able to say the same.
But this issue is bigger than Ms. Morrow. I have never met Ms. Farley, so I don't know her. But I hope that there will come a point when she matures and realizes that she was used by the people opposing the Albertson's zoning issue. People who do not have the same integrity as Christy Morrow fed Ms. Farley misinformation that she was happy to report. In so doing, the Observer printed unsubstantiated details about the zoning issue without giving the Albertson's team a chance to respond.
Ms. Farley let her personal dislike of Ms. Morrow divert her from the issues and fell right into the hands of those opposing the zoning case. Instead of doing a good job of reporting the message, she attacked the messenger.
Funny how that works.
Gallier and Wittenberg, Inc.
Editor's note: Our story never stated that Ms. Morrow personally violated the ground rules of the voluntary mediation.
You've reported superbly on the fight over the East Dallas Albertson's project. I'd love to read your update on the long-term battle over the other Albertson's controversy, the proposed store in East Plano on East Park next door to Bob Woodruff Park. Apparently there are still legions of area residents opposed to building a store there, but the city is doing land swaps and growing closer to giving the green light. You should see the site--there is no other commercial development within a mile in any direction, just homes, a few condos, and lots of green grass and trees. But you can be sure that whether it's Live Oak in East Dallas or real oaks in East Plano, the turf battle is just as intense.
Power to the Observer, and keep those spin doctors whirling.
Thanks for the piece on the Albertson's rezoning case in East Dallas. I live in the neighborhood and moved there primarily because it's a historic district.
Sure, Albertson's mailed me their slick four-color brochure, but it hasn't convinced me that it isn't a bad plan. The traffic is already congested, and if they think a grocery store is going to eliminate homeless people in our neighborhood, they have delusions of grandeur. I appreciate your giving some balance to the spin Albertson's is putting in the media.
The Bally's article was interesting ["Hard body, hard sell," January 14]. It reminded me a lot of the "Bally Sucks" Web site at www.compupix.com/ballysucks/. On another note, your Web site is so much more legible than the newspaper--much easier on the eyes. Finally, I love your journalism. Keep it up.
I, too, have been through the episode described in the article about joining Bally Total Fitness. It is a total farce. One aspect overlooked by the author of the article is the hidden costs of enrolling. Last time I checked, they were charging about 24 percent interest on the monthly fee! Outrageous!