Laura, great article ["Priced to sell out," November 6], but unfortunately the deal is even worse than you presented, because the super-rich owners are not going to have $110 million in it by any stretch of the imagination. First they are free to sell ticket licenses or bonds, which will bring in $20-$40 million. Then there are the (never-mentioned) naming rights, which will very likely be sold for, say, $10-$30 million. Lastly there will no doubt be up-front location or slotting allowances ($5-$15 million), as they are called in the food business, from the vendors who want access to charge otherworldly prices for fast food inside the arena, though Greed Bowl would be a better name for this shameless reverse-Robin Hood hustle.
Ross Perot Sr., where are you? Is there any substance to your railing against the money game played in Washington? If so, you should be ashamed of your son's deal here. On the face of it, it goes against everything I have ever heard you say about special interests using the power of their money to feed at the public's expense. Shame on you, junior; this is beneath your and your family's very honorable track record of public service and contribution. You've lost your perspective if you think this is anything but the worst kind of corporate welfare bottom-feeder tournament. Using the power of government to take money from the little guy when he rents a car or stays in Motel 6 to give to cheap billionaires...is laughable. Mr. Perot, your good name is worth a lot more than this deal is worth. If you want a new facility for your business, then build one. Charge anything you like for admission, and take the same risk every other businessman in this town does. That's how your father built his amazing fortune and good name.
I have always considered the Dallas Observer much too liberal for my conservative posture, but sneaking (a peek at) a copy of an article by Laura Miller has almost always proven to be illuminating. Laura's article on the arena deal is worthy of praise. It is well researched and factual. My hat is off to her efforts, and thanks for the illumination.
I know that it has been several months now that Mary Brown Malouf stopped writing for the Observer, but if I may ask--Why? I am hoping that she will return, because with Mr. Stuertz at the helm, "Dish" is consistently being served cold.
Mark Stuertz seems as if he has some anger built up at every chef and every restaurant he has ever encountered.
I think there are probably three potential causes for this. One, he tried to become a chef, but had an excruciating experience and vowed to write horrible reviews on all eating establishments. Two, he might have been a budding young restaurateur who wanted to climb the ladder of management, but found out that the road was a rough one, and here again vowed to criticize and attempt to destroy all restaurants. Or three, he was a customer at a diner and did not receive his food quickly enough and from that moment on swore to get his revenge!
OK, maybe those are extremes, but from reading his reviews, one would think that there was not a single restaurant in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that was even worth stepping inside. I think he may have only done one, possibly two, "positive" reviews since he began his stint at the Dallas Observer.
I realize what his job entails, and I am by no means saying that he should ignore any negative aspects of his dining experience, but I am saying that maybe he should try actually looking for some positive things happening at the restaurants.
One of the worst things about a food writer who takes a consistent negative angle is that he isn't guiding readers to an enjoyable dining experience, but instead trying to get them all to stay at home and eat TV dinners.
Eye on Bob
Thanks for keeping Tilton-ists informed of the latest shenanigans of the soul man of South Beach ["Second coming," November 6]. I just never will understand the rush of humanity to make the fakes rich!
Add to the count
Christine Biederman's "Mr. Passion" [October 23] was an enjoyable, informative look at the romantic book biz in Dallas, but when she writes that "Fogelman is one of at least three prominent book peddlers currently operating in Dallas," she's one short. Jim Donovan has been a literary agent for several years and has sold dozens of books, mostly to the big New York publishers and some of them for a lot of money. He's got a sterling reputation as a legitimate book agent, and he's a damn good one. He recently sold two of my books to St. Martin's Press in New York. Just thought you might want to know the whole story.
I don't know how people who live on Lower Greenville do it ["Houses of blues," November 13]. I can empathize with putting up with drunk people. I am not much of a drinker myself, but I do enjoy live music. I find it sad that so many people can't seem to have a good time without drinking. One day, maybe some brave enterprising soul will open a non-alcohol club and find more success than he or she expected.
Your "(W)right to fly" article [October 16] was excellent in that it pointed out that the real issue is American Airlines' trying to protect its monopoly at the expense of the flying public.
The recent changes to the Love Field restrictions pose no real changes for most of the flying public. The newly opened states of Kansas, Mississippi, and Alabama do not have a single major destination or airport hub among them. And Legend Airlines' plans do not include discount fares, which, more than anything, are what the flying public wants. The success of Southwest Airlines proves that.
I don't understand how the city of Fort Worth can claim that increased flights from Love Field pose a real threat to D/FW airport any more than Alliance Airport does, but let's assume that they somehow would. I don't understand why a plane bound for Los Angeles makes more noise or poses a greater safety risk than a plane bound for Albuquerque, but let's assume that it somehow does.
Even so, the public can be served. Keep the rules about direct flights from Love Field. That should satisfy Fort Worth. Even put a cap on the number of flights allowed from Love Field. That should satisfy the residents of the Love Field area. But simply allow "through ticketing" from Love Field to all destinations. This would allow Southwest to advertise low fares for connecting flights to all the cities that it serves. And that would force American Airlines and the other big boys at D/FW to stop gouging the residents of North Texas.
This simple plan would serve to benefit all parties involved. Who would object to this one simple solution, except the greedy ownership of American Airlines?
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This is the best feature regarding the Wright Amendment that any Dallas or Fort Worth publication has run.
It ought to be required reading for anyone who is sitting on the fence regarding the issue of repeal. Outstanding research and wonderful organization of the piece.
Keep it up.