By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Being one of the few Dallas Morning News subscribers under the age of 85 to read the paper religiously, Buzz thought we had a pretty good notion of who the daily's friends were. We were wrong.
When the city council recently designated the newspaper the city's official outlet for public notices, Councilwoman Barbara Mallory Caraway pointedly asked whether that meant the city was endorsing the paper's accuracy and fairness. Days earlier the Morning News had reported that Caraway and her husband, Dwaine, were accused in a lawsuit of trying to take over a management company at Red Bird Airport.
"Absolutely not!" Mayor Ron Kirk, replied, intimating that he also didn't think much of the Morning News' fairness and accuracy.
Councilwoman Donna Blumer, in turn, took offense: "I have detected no bias in The Dallas Morning News."
Kirk responded: "I find it hard to believe you haven't read the newspaper in the last five years."
Now, let Buzz see if we've got this straight. Blumer questioned the daily's impartiality last summer after its parent company bought a share of the Mavericks and arena, only to have her comments cut from the Morning News' story. She thinks the paper is fair. Mayor Kirk is, well, Mayor Kirk--the fellow traveler of the Morning News when it comes to supporting big downtown projects. He thinks it isn't.
If the Morning News is bad, then the Dallas Observer must be good. We suppose that any day now we can expect a call from a friendly Ron Kirk feeding us juicy City Hall tidbits. That number is (214) 757-8439, Ron. You can trust us. We're your pal.
Did you know that--supposedly--if you wad up two pieces of tissue and slowly approach a housefly from different directions simultaneously, its simple nervous system will overload and it won't be able to fly away? These are the sorts of things Buzz learned growing up in a small, dull Midwestern mining town, where fly-catching can provide a boy many hours of entertainment, at least until puberty sets in.
Buzz brings this up because someone pointed out to us that the city council was scheduled to approve an ordinance requiring "a person to carry materials or implements to remove and dispose of dog excreta when permitting a dog on private property or property in a public place." This was the same day that the council passed its revisions to the ethics code. Poop, stink, ethics, City Hall. The punch-line possibilities flooded Buzz's tiny brain, and we knew how all those flies must have felt.
In any case, the council postponed the vote on the pooper-scooper law until August 9, but voted on ethics. Did they have their priorities in order? Buzz, whose Northwest Dallas yard is a rest stop for every pooch between Love Field and Addison, wonders. The scooper ordinance calls for a $10 fine for first offenders, increasing to $50 for serial poopers. We suspect someone will pay that larger fine before anyone is ever sanctioned for ethics code violations.
—Compiled from staff reports by Patrick WilliamsSend cheerful notes on why it's good to be alive to Buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org.