This haven of artistic talent just across the Trinity in Southern Dallas is named after the artist who we'd seen paint a mural in a Lutheran church many, many years ago. It was astounding. His wife opened a gallery in March 1997. All the pieces are eye-catching, and there's a lot to eyeball--anywhere from 30-50 artists' work is on exhibition. There are sculptures in wood and carvings and figurines. The owners host several small art shows each year and one major exhibition in the fall.

Jaye Weiner, the mother and proprietor of this school, has recently moved into a new building to accommodate her success. She and a staff of 10 enthusiastic teachers help children ages 4 and up produce fantastic, creative objects d'art, often from recycled material. Sign up early because these classes fill up quickly.

The Dallas artist pulled a quasi-Triple Crown this year with simultaneous shows at three venues, not to mention his showing at New York's Whitney Biennial. Jumping from photography to filmmaking and back again, he brought Circles and Squares (which was based on a fashion shoot for Neiman Marcus at the Lakewood Theatre) to Dunn and Brown Contemporary, contributed his films Moving Picture and Middletown (his piece in the Whitney) to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's Natural Deceits, and staged a retrospective of his career at the Dallas Museum of Art called Nic Nicosia: Real Pictures, 1979-1999. While quantity doesn't equal quality, each of Nicosia's pieces thrills, saddens, brings a laugh, or is just a plain wonder to see.

Forbidden doesn't claim it has Dallas' largest collection of cult video for nothin'. Though it changed hands earlier this year from founder Jason Cohen (who leaves the store to run a same-monikered gallery around the corner) to Ben Moore (who's in his early '20s), the collection of 2,000 videos in genres ranging from Japanimation and cult to blacksploitation and fetishist stays intact, though some of the music and books have been pulled. We hope it's to make room for more video, though we can't imagine what else they might need.

OK, so the ex-Sooners and Cowboys coach isn't really a DJ--he's no Kidd Kraddick or Carter, no computer jockey playing the latest by Britney or Sting or some other disposable pop icon (hey, we love Sting as much as the next straight man, but we stopped caring around the time of "Russians"). And he's not necessarily the host of "Football All the Way," which airs during The Hardline's 3 p.m.-7 p.m. time slot on The Ticket, the domain of Greg "The Hammer" Williams and Mike "The Old Grey Wolf" Rhyner. And, OK, it's a 10-minute show. Got it. But it's the best damned 10 minutes of radio this town's heard in a very long time, at least since Gordon "Microphone Johnson" Keith asked Stars coach Ken Hitchcock which part of his last name was popular with the gay community. For 10 minutes every week, Switzer talks Cowboys and OU, stumbling down Memory Lane (and, on occasion, Amnesia Lane) like a pissed-off drunk at closing time; the man uses "damn" and "hell" and "crap" the way other people say "and" and "the" and "but." Now that he's no longer on the payroll, he's free to dish on his old boss, Jerry "Crazy Sumbitch" Jones (that's our appellation, by the way, not his), and his old team. And you can damned sure bet your ass he'll say whatever the hell he wants about them damned good old days when the University of freakin' Oklahoma used to beat the crap out of Nebraska. Want to get Barry going? Ask him why he's not in the College Football Hall of Fame. Damned politics, that's why, helldamncrap. Come back, Barry, all is forgiven. We miss you so damned much.

At this time last year, Hard Rock Caf was little more than a calcified rock-and-roll museum with a stage that was just for show (or actually, not for shows). Now, thanks to a new general manager and an alliance with The Merge (93.3-FM), Hard Rock is offering shows several nights a week. Good show--finally.

She whines. She carps. She's half-wrong. Sometimes she's almost impossible to read. But at least she gives a small hoot about what's going on downtown, and with a little publicity blast this year, she's even being noticed for it. Boyd, whose hit-counter reads more than 52,000 lately, is not the force she aspires to be in Dallas. She's just not electable, and she's too doctrinaire to make enough friends to attain any sort of power, but she is almost a perfect match for the Internet, that great democratizer and spreader of faint voices and long-shot causes.

Whether it's vengeance on his former colleagues at WFAA Channel 8 or just being free of them, Channel 11 News anchor Tracy Rowlett has helped give his fellow teammates an edge the other locals sorely lack. Covering the school district, the cops, the controversy over sexually oriented businesses, the folks at KTVT clearly don't have to worry about all the sacred cows and family-unfriendly troubles that keep News 8 in a constant state of flinch. They've come up with a heads-up, straight-on format that's worth watching.

You say you believe in the Democratic process, in the right of an informed electorate selecting the most viable judicial candidates from the marketplace of lawyers who have distinguished themselves in their careers. You say voters are intelligent enough to make good choices, to select the most qualified candidate, unswayed by the politics of the moment or popular sentiment. Then you look at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, gasp, and decide to rethink the whole thing. Yes, we are a law-and-order state that doesn't cotton to coddling criminals. But our current crop of judges who man (and woman) the state's highest court of criminal jurisdiction have little regard for legal precedent; they seem to be making up the law as they go along. They have little intellectual candlepower since they are notorious for affirming guilty verdicts even in cases where DNA evidence suggests innocence. Some of them even have questionable integrity: Witness new presiding Judge Sharon Keller, who rails against pornography at the same time she is the landlord of a titty bar in Dallas. These guys are the state's court of last resort for our booming death penalty business. Even George W. deserves a better backstop.

Preston Lane

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