I swore to myself Tuesday I wasn’t going to get into any more intimate blog-a-logs with Steve Blow at The Dallas Morning News. I've had enough; you probably have too.
But I guess I can’t ignore this. Again. I have the cover story in this week’s paper version of Unfair Park quoting a 5-year-old News story that reported that only one small area of real estate will benefit from the toll road downtown. Blow posted an item to Bold Types yesterday saying he couldn’t find such an article and suggesting I made it up. This is the second time Blow and I have had differences about what has and has not appeared in The News.
At first I thought he was being tricky. Now I think he honestly does not know how to look stuff up in his own newspaper.
Blow wrote yesterday:
Maybe it's me. I e-mailed Jim early this afternoon asking for the story that contains such information. I haven't heard back from him.
One of us sure seems to have trouble using the archives
. OK, to look for Dallas Morning News stories, I use the independent database, Nexis-Lexis, for which the Dallas Observer pays a big fat ton of money. The story I quoted ran in The News on May 26, 2002, under the headline, “City must work to make road pay; Consultants say most plans for Trinity tollway won't help economy.”
I really don’t think copyright allows me to link to or fully reproduce here a story that I dug up from Nexis. But here are some key quotes:
Some advocates of the new highway have touted economic development as a side benefit. However, the tale told by HNTB's maps -- with different types of projected development shown in different colors -- is that the park is a stronger lure than the road, and that other, more direct catalysts to development may be more powerful than either.
Under any scenario, the poor, predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods of Rochester Park, Cadillac Heights and Joppa can expect no noticeable economic boost, the study suggests.
Conversely, there is likely to be one major economic winner, regardless of which alignment the council chooses. It is the aging warehouse district where the new highway would intersect Stemmons and State Highway 183.
The story refers to Harlan Crow (“Developer Harlan Crow, whose family's multitude of ventures includes investments in the Trinity corridor valued at nearly $ 400 million …”) and Ray Hunt:
p>Some of the city's economic powerhouses -- including the one [Mayor Laura] Miller described as "the 900-pound gorilla" in the tollway debate, Ray Hunt's Woodbine Development Corp. -- still hew to the split alternative.
"Innately, it just seems logical to me," said Woodbine's president and chief executive officer, John Scovell. "Access drives value."
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The story does not, by the way, place Crow and Hunt right in that pocket of land I was writing about. The simple fact is that Crow does own a lot of land along that side of the river.
Woodbine’s holding are on that side too, but downtown, not up in the area I was writing about. So that would be a fair criticism of me: I should have been more precise about where Crow and Hunt are positioned.
But, ya know, they are positioned pretty good.
As for Blow not being able to find the story at all: I officially and forever decline, disdain and eschew from this moment forward from uttering any more puns based on Mr. Blow’s last name, and I herewith disengage from and refuse further digital intercourse with said person. We're done here, right? --Jim Schutze