By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Observer to U.S.A.: Don't hate us
Seems we've done more harm than good. That is, if you believe the dozens of readers who have sent us thank-you notes in recent weeks, expressing their gratitude for getting Rocco Pendola fired from KTCK-AM (1310). Now, we never took credit for getting Pendola axed from the sports-talk station; Ticket programming director Bruce Gilbert assured us that Pendola's contract wasn't picked up, end of story. But if we had anything to do with his dismissal--like, maybe, referring to him as "invidious" in a Balls column in March--well, then we must apologize to the rest of the country right about now.
Last week, we received a fax from something called the SportsFan Radio Network, which is based out of New York City and Las Vegas, notifying us that Pendola has been added to the syndicate's lineup. Pendola might be out of one market--but now he'll have access to SportsFan's 350 stations nationwide.
God, we are so sorry.
"This is an important step in our continued effort to move forward in managing wildlife and natural resources issues in a "positive, progressive manner," Mayor Milburn R. Gravely said in a prepared statement.
Allow Buzz to translate: "Boy, we sure screwed the pooch on that one, but we promise we'll never again use bulldozers to mash little birdies. Oopsie."
Damn straight. Any "positive, progressive" Texas hunter knows that the proper way to kill an egret is with an AK-47. That explains the outrage last July when Carrollton sent heavy machinery into Josey Ranch Park to clear out a roost filled with noisy, pooping birds. It was unsporting. Slaughtering federally protected migratory birds without a permit also is against the law, hence the $70,000 fine.
The fine is on top of $126,000 the Carrollton City Council agreed to pay to rehabilitate hundreds of wounded birds. Carrollton's tab comes to $196,000 for around 300 dead birds, or roughly $650 a bird. Since rarer or more valuable animals are much more fun to shoot, Buzz expects to see canned hunting tours for egrets spring up this fall.
Told you so
In last week's Dallas Observer, staff writer Ann Zimmerman broke the story of lawsuits by Dallas firefighters and police officers that allege they are owed hundreds of millions in back pay because of a disparity in salaries among the ranks.
Well, call her Cassandra, because the day the story hit the streets, a judge in Collin County issued a partial summary judgment in favor of 16 of the firefighters. State District Judge Robert Dry Jr. ruled that the city violated an ordinance guaranteeing pay parity among firefighters and cops. If the judgment holds and is applied to all the firefighters and police officers currently suing the city, Dallas may end up owing $150 million in back pay and interest.
Mayor Ron Kirk told The Dallas Morning News that the city would fight the judgment all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Let's see, that's a $150 million potential judgment and a defendant willing to litigate forever.
Somewhere, a lawyer is drooling.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams