By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
More like dystopia: In "Suburbatopia" (March 3), Jim Schutze provided evidence that Frisco may not be the perfect place it first appears. The fact that this comes as new information to the Dallas Observer is a surprise to me.
I am one of Frisco's sons. I am attending college in Austin. I left Frisco as soon as I was able. I rarely go back.
Frisco wasn't the place of my dreams, nor was it the place of dreams for several of my fellow graduates of Frisco High School. What is wrong with Frisco? Oh, boy. Frisco isn't just closed physically with all the gated and partially gated communities, such as my family's own Preston Vineyards. Frisco is closed metaphorically.
When Schutze mentioned the suspicious-looking poor people rarely seen on our immaculate white concrete streets or molded sidewalks, he is just barely touching the tip of the problems. Frisco denies any sort of difference; not just differences in financial wealth. I have been a victim of Frisco society's status quo. Frisco will do anything to isolate those who do not belong, even going so far as to completely reinvent parts of Old Frisco (specifically near Staley Middle School) so that it matches the rest of the city's clean new Plano/Allen carbon-copy "appeal." Anything historical must be shoved into a zoning plan box.
And the schools--where my problems with Frisco's obsession with cookie-cutter cleanliness threatened to ruin my budding military career before it started--for all their resources, isolate students of any difference. There are no resources for non-popular or reserved students, let alone those of differing sexual orientation, gender identity or those with substantially differing political views or hobbies. Nor are these individuals protected when they come under attack from students or faculty.
As an example, Frisco High School once attempted to stop me from wearing T-shirts depicting Japanese animation characters, not because the shirts were offensive, but because I was accused of liking the art form "too much." This lack of protection and understanding in the school district leads to a worsening of the situation, because as students of variety, such as my compatriots and I, leave Frisco for greener pastures, the students who were the crème de la crème in Frisco's learning institutions remain to become "townies." These students, confirmed by Frisco society in their behavior, then remain to cement the metaphorically closed community that would create a crime of "driving while poor." In fact, the situation is so severe that these same remaining students still attempt to bully those of us who have left whenever we return to visit family or friends.
Frisco and utopia should never be used in conjunction. Dystopia, perhaps, is a better choice. Or how about just suburbia in Oceania from the world of 1984?
Kevin M. Callahan
Down the toilet: I hope the Beckas win this fight. Our builder took our land and our "dream" home from us. He didn't finish building our home; actually, he barely got started. After eight months and all that was there was a foundation, framing and a roof, we sued him and won a judgment against him. That was almost three years ago. He has never paid us one penny. Maybe if there had been a charter forcing builders to take out a bond, we would have been protected when he stopped building our home. Our dream went down the toilet...We never got our "dream" home.
Sucker dreams: That Frisco residents have fallen prey to an industry that is primarily interested in the bottom line over concerns of substandard product should come as no surprise. Any fool should be able to see the speed with which these gated-community McMansions are erected and realize that quality is bound to suffer. The fact that the builders' incentive to minimize product defects has been removed has been well-documented for anyone who watches the nightly news. Just because your house costs $350,000 and is in Frisco doesn't mean that any more care was taken in its construction than any other cheap "prefab" tract home in the metroplex.
Welcome to the slick marketing hype of the instant American Dream! Please take a glossy brochure--your actual life may vary from the pictures. Thanks so much for your life savings! We promise in 50 years that the twig in your front yard will be a tree, if it survives. Oh, and be sure not to slam the front door too hard!
As Jim Schutze said in the article, the Beckas should have jumped at the builder's buy-back offer. Breaking even, in this instance, is all that a consumer can hope for, because, in the current incarnation of the free market, profit is only guaranteed for big business!
If they would connect the dots, they might clue in to the fact that their unquestioning and repeated votes for the corporation-loving GOP is the underlying reason they are being screwed by the companies that build their homes. Who do they think enacted all the legal protections for builders and rigged the system to restrict the buyer's recourse to sue? Their Republican proxies in the state Legislature and City Hall, that's who! They have been limiting consumer rights in many areas for decades (tort reform, anyone?) and are continually rewarded with re-election by a population that has no qualms about voting against their self-interest as long as there is an "R" next to the candidate's name. The irony of their even considering filing an evil "frivolous" lawsuit against the home builder is obviously lost on them and indicates that the terrorists have indeed won!
Enjoy your participation in the "Ownership Society," Frisco! This is what you have voted for over the last 25 years, suckers!