By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Making a mark in politics is one thing; making a mark by instilling idiocies into our city charter is another.
James Carlos Martin
I live in an apartment on Bishop Avenue, blocks away from the Oak Cliff Coffeehouse. The last thing Oak Cliff needs is a Starbucks. There's plenty of good coffee here.
Last winter I wanted to have a holiday party. My apartment is smalI. I could not have one here. I asked Kenneth, the owner of the Oak Cliff Coffeehouse, if I could use the Coffeehouse. Even though he was out of town during the party, he let me do it, and he even got someone to work to help us set up and clean up. All I had to do was pay that person for his time. Kenneth allowed us to "take over" the coffeehouse, including the kitchen. He supplied coolers for drinks and let me store food there the day before. We had a great party thanks to him. Do you think a bureaucratic chain store like Starbucks would have allowed me to do that?
Anyway, how many constituents on the campaign trail asked for a Starbucks as "their" issue?
I have one negative comment. I resent that Ms. Farley points to the racial tension in Oak Cliff based on a couple of random persons' comments at the Pitt Grill. They are just individuals with their opinions. While their comments are valid for them, she should have known better as a reporter than to draw sweeping conclusions about race relations in Oak Cliff. There are many more people, groups, and institutions in Oak Cliff that are working together on common interests--neighborhood associations, schools, and particularly Dallas Area Interfaith. Why didn't she talk to them about race relations in Oak Cliff? Institutions and organized people better reflect the community than a random person off the street.
In the wonderful article on roosters and Oak Cliff, Michael Harrity of the Bishop Street Market wonders why Council member Laura Miller is pushing so hard for a Starbucks rather than a Java Jones. Well, follow the money, Michael...all politicians turn eventually, some just sooner than others.
I am absolutely appalled at the audacity of Mayor Ron Kirk and the majority of the Dallas City Council ["Gimme gimme," May 13]. Dallas has been awarded $22 million in Federal Community Development Block Grants, and only $52,375 is going to be spent citywide. This is unbelievable.
Mayor Kirk and his cohorts can find plenty of money for the arena project, the Trinity River project, and the Olympics 2012 project. All of these projects benefit the fat cats like Ross Perot Jr. and Tom Hicks.
Dallas has hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded infrastructure repairs that desperately need to be done. Obviously, he and his cohorts don't believe in listening to the voters in the last election, who wanted the Dallas city government to focus on basic city services.
Well, if the citizens of Dallas don't need to be listened to because the majority of us are not Daddy Warbucks, then I think it is time a lawsuit is filed against Mayor Kirk and his cohorts for dereliction of duty and failure to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities under the city charter.
I am fed up with a city government that thinks it is OK for Mayor Kirk's wife to get $500,000 from Hicks. It is time for Mayor Kirk and his accomplices on the city council to find out once and for all that they work for all of the citizens of Dallas, and that we will hold them legally accountable.
For quite a long while now, I have been dragging my feet in conveying my thanks to you guys for the outstanding service you perform for this city. Quite frankly, and simply put, I don't know what the hell those of us among the "great unwashed" would do without you. Caught between civic leaders who won't talk and elected representatives who haven't a clue, the Dallas Observer provides our only insight to what is really going on.
My sincere appreciation for a job well done.
German C. Gardner
Fishing for complaints
I think that your article about Newport's ["Going back to the well," May 6] is a very sad, untrue statement. Did the author's goldfish recently die? Did he fall overboard on a fishing trip? He's obviously been jilted by something or someone related to seafood. Or, just perhaps, maybe he was having a bad day.
I guess the only consistent thing is that the article reflects the Observer's tendency to be extreme. Newport's is definitely one of the premier seafood restaurants in Dallas and has only gotten better since the new ownership. I dine at Newport's every time I visit the Dallas-Fort Worth area from Seattle and am always thrilled with the service and the quality of food. I think the author's first visit was more reflective of a typical experience at Newport's, except for the lack of excitement over the menu. I haven't noticed many top-notch seafood restaurants in the Dallas area over the past 15 years. Perhaps that's because Dallas' idea of seafood is Red Lobster. Of course, you could consider Cafe Pacific as an option if you were one of the top 25 people on Jack Knox's approved guest list, although I'm guessing the Observer isn't.
I'm confident that Newport's will continue to be one of Dallas' top choices for seafood. And it's certainly at the top of my list.