Wake up, Dallas: The article Jim Schutze wrote about DISD ("They Walk by Night," September 28) is one of his best. I retired from Dallas last year and was sitting at my desk here in New York, just thinking about the crazy politics in Dallas. I clicked onto the Dallas Observer and I was enjoying this article so much that I almost missed Dallas. When are people in Dallas going to wake up? Why do police officers have to beg for a 13 percent raise while DISD officials are getting rich off your tax dollars?
When I was hired to work for the City of Dallas in 1976, I was proud to be a part of a growing and professional city. When I left in 1999, I was so glad to be excommunicated from the City of Greed.
Hell, if Jim Schutze were mayor, I might even think about coming back, but it was 68 degrees today, and that means another day of golf and no headaches from Dallas. I miss all the great people like Jim, but not the politics.
Round Top, New York
I believe in DISD: Mr. Schutze's reporting on the amount of my salary is correct.
When I was named by former Superintendent Rojas to be the special assistant for special projects, he extended me a new contract with the salary that was reported. I did not seek that amount or any kind of raise.
When Dr. Rojas left, I offered to go back to my previous salary and previous position as the head of the communications department. That offer still stands.
I do not appreciate the inference that I am an "overpaid bureaucrat." I moved from Oklahoma back to Dallas to make a difference for the school district that provided me with a solid, 12-year education. Other job opportunities with competitive salaries have been made available to me, but I have chosen to stay at DISD because I believe strongly in its mission.
When I feel I can no longer be effective here, trust me, I'll leave. I could be wrong, but I think there may be quieter, less controversial places in which to work.
Dallas Public Schools
That disgusting herb: Thank God your criteria for best salsa (Best of Dallas, September 21) aren't used by all Mexican restaurants. Some of us, namely me, think that cilantro is the worst thing that's happened to Tex-Mex in 50 years. This disgusting herb permeates everything it touches so that anything it's cooked in tastes of nothing but cilantro! Spare us! Tex-Mex restaurants: Please, stop using cilantro so we can find out what the food really tastes like.
North Richland Hills
Squeak, squeak: Best place to kick it with bikers? Blue Goose? What wannabe picked this hamster rodeo?
Fine, upstanding felon: I find it to be an insult to consider Lou Reese, a felon who was the subject of one of your investigative reports, as Dallas' Best Businessman. Dallas has many fine, upstanding businessmen who actively contribute to their community rather then pillage it. Maybe the fact you accept advertising from his properties clouded your judgment.
Squished: One category skipped in your Best of Dallas 2000 edition was "Best Example of a Big Corporation Stepping on the Little Guy," referring, of course to the recent buyout and subsequent closing of The Met by New Times Inc., owner of the Dallas Observer, thus creating a monopoly in the independent newspaper business in the area. Here is the Dallas Observer, the so-called champion of truth and justice, the paper looking out for the people, basically throwing a smaller, weaker competitor out in the street. Nice job, guys, keep the public service going.
Dennis A. Lokey
You missed the point: Re: Best Reason Only Johnny Cash Should Be Allowed To Sing Johnny Cash Songs...you have obviously missed the point of Colin Boyd's act. His solo set is a "kinder, gentler" send-up of classic tunes new and old. His crooning cover of "Highway To Hell" is enough to bring a smile to the face of the most cynical reviewer. Maybe we're taking ourselves a bit too seriously at the Dallas Observer.
Cool to be cruel: I'm sick of life-jaded yuppies thinking it's cool to be judgmental and negative. Get over yourself. If you don't like Colin Boyd singing Johnny Cash tunes, ask him to sing some of his original material. He is a great songwriter. And by the way, when you were drinking so much chardonnay that you didn't know the name of the bar in which you were slurring, it was St. Pete's Dancing Marlin (not Blue Marlin.) I hope you took your grumpy self home in a cab.
A form of intimidation: The critics in your article ("The Doctor Is Out," September 21) who are attempting to suppress Dr. Laura's TV program are trying to portray her as a hatemonger, comparing her to David Duke. This is not a valid comparison, as people like David Duke devote their lives to hatemongering. With Dr. Laura, her opinions about homosexuality were a very small part of her radio show. The question came up, and she just gave her opinion on it. I think the real issue here is some members of the gay community don't want to allow others to express their opinions on the subject. They would rather shout them down. It's the TV/radio equivalent of book-burning. Rather than compete in a marketplace of ideas, they are trying to keep opposing viewpoints from being heard. They are willing to destroy free speech for us all in order to benefit themselves on this one subject.
Their tactics are also a form of intimidation. The message is, Dr. Laura made a comment against us, and you see what we did to her. The days when you can make a spurious claim that a person is a hatemonger, racist, intolerant, etc. are over. It's been tried too many times against honest, decent people. People who engage in character assassination eventually lose. Who is going to support their cause after they behave this way? How do they expect to get any respect after that?
Sci-fi needs help: It figures. Robert Wilonsky finally has enough foresight to write about a TV show that hasn't been canceled yet (Night & Day, September 28), and naturally he picks one he hates. Which raises the question--why bother?
If Dark Angel is as bad as Wilonsky says it is, then bad ratings will surely kill it by next June, if not in time for the November sweeps. If it isn't as bad, then Wilonsky has helped to kill a show that could have had real potential, a science fiction show which is going to have a hard enough time getting aired without the kvetching of some critic who actually looks forward--God help him--to the next installment of the Survivor series.
Hey, man. Different strokes for different folks. Some of us sci-fi fans actually welcome the chance to see a new sci-fi series that isn't tied in to Star Trek or X-Files. Save your words for promoting shows that don't necessarily get the publicity of a James Cameron production, and bear in mind that intelligent sci-fi needs all the help it can get.
If you wish to tell me "I told you so" a month from now, go ahead. But for now, save your venom for the suits whose idea of an innovative science fiction show is another Star Trek spinoff.
Roy Mendoza Jr.
No scholar he: Perhaps Vendyl Jones ("Seeker of the Lost Ark," September 28) has made some significant archaeological discoveries (e.g., related to the Copper Scroll of Qumran).
However, if his biblical scholarship is a measure of his archaeological aptitude, then I would have to question his integrity and his claims, as many apparently do. I have read his book, Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?, and continue to receive his newsletters, though I don't know why. His supposed exegesis and explanations of Greek New Testament passages (usually in an effort to "prove" that Christians are wrong about God and Jesus) are often so erroneous as to cause one to wonder if he ever really received training as a minister. He once dismissed a passage on the basis that it had (if I recall correctly) a "present indicative participle." Even first-year Greek students know that there is no such animal! Jones' newsletters and articles actually help bolster faith in Jesus--because he gives so many examples of faulty criticisms of the New Testament.
McKinney Airport spin: As the proud mayor of McKinney, I was glad to see a Dallas Observer journalist travel up Central Expressway to report on our great city and the McKinney Municipal Airport. Civic pride runs through our community, from the historic downtown area to the airport that served as the focal point of K. Shelby Clark's report ("Common Ground," August 31).
However, I do wish your reporter could have stayed a tad bit longer and dug a little deeper into her story. By talking primarily to a handful of misguided airport opponents and refusing to talk to a much larger cross-section of our community, she neglected to learn about the overwhelming support for the McKinney Municipal Airport.
With a little legwork and extra research (she thought our comprehensive plan had too many pages to read), she would have discovered the following:
· Last year, the Texas Department of Transportation named McKinney Municipal Airport the "Outstanding Reliever Airport of the Year." It is praised by transportation leaders across the country for its strong management and safety record.
· The McKinney Municipal Airport is guided by a 20-year plan drafted by our airport, city, and community leaders that will enhance, expand, and improve an airport that's quiet, clean, and spurs the economy.
· The airport will attract safe, upscale corporate aircraft for companies like Texas Instruments. The airport will not service large commercial airlines.
· A better, more vibrant airport will improve the quality of life and tax base for all of McKinney. The additional revenue will decrease the tax burden on homeowners and increase funds for better roads, parks, schools, and police.
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While the mayor of Fairview has complained loudest about the airport, Fairview leaders must be quite confident in the safety of the airport. They recently approved construction of more than a thousand homes for senior citizens in an area of Fairview directly south of the runway. At the same time, they are also spendings tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for an extremely negative and misleading campaign against the airport.
We are surprised your reporter neglected to disclose the above information even though it was made available to her. It appears as though she had cemented her opinion and written her headline long before coming to McKinney.
However, we welcome her to come visit us again and spend a day or two with civic and grassroots activists, business leaders, and elected officials to thoroughly discover McKinney and the great many strides we have made over the years.
City of McKinney