2002 Revealed

An aging Buzz finds little to celebrate in the year gone by. What did you expect?

Selling point: The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau becomes the center of controversy after news reports reveal that it paid hundreds of dollars in questionable expenses, including more than $600 to a local topless bar for a night out entertaining a customer. Bureau officials defend the expense. "Listen, it's not like we want to go to those places. But if a night out boozing and looking at enormous jugs is what it takes to sell Dallas, then by God we're going to nut up and do it," says a harried spokesman.

What you pay for: The Dallas school district once again leads Texas in the number of poor-performing schools, according to a list compiled by the Texas Education Agency. Of 205 schools on the list, 41 are in DISD. News of the district's performance reaches Lubbock, where regents of Texas Tech University vote to send Dallas a bouquet of flowers and a canned ham. "It's just a little 'thank you' for keeping us from looking like complete boneheads," a university spokesman says.

Peep show: City staff members draft a policy that suggests the use of cameras near park rest rooms and in recreational facilities to curb illegal sexual activity. The Convention and Visitors Bureau offers to help pay for the cameras in exchange for cable pay-per-view rights.

Dorit Rabinovitch
Dorit Rabinovitch

Familiar vision: City council members get their first look at a proposed redeveloped downtown being touted by Mayor Miller. The plan envisions a pedestrian-friendly city center filled with shops, shaded parks and sidewalk cafes. The council is at first awed by the presentation delivered by the city's Inside the Loop Committee until one council member points out that the plan actually consists of aerial photos of downtown Fort Worth.

Selling point II: The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opens, giving a major boost to Cowtown's campaign to lure tourists by touting the city as a place with both high culture and cowboys. Not to be outdone, the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau unveils a counter-campaign based on the theme, "Visit Fort Worth for the cows. Come to Big D for the udders."

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