A Thankless Job|The Smell Test|High Cotton

"Confederacy of Jerks" by Jim Schutze, October 23

A Thankless Job

As someone who has run both city council and school board elections, it wouldn't take a lot of money to elect a new school board. City council races generally cost north of $100,000. In a school board race, we felt really lucky if we raised $20,000. That, of course, presupposes that you have candidates who want to run. It is a thankless job.

Lorlee, via dallasobserver.com

"White people have to be jerks. Black people have to be jerks. Latinos have to be jerks. Everybody has to be able to get mad at everybody. And everybody has to get over it and join together to fight for educational excellence." I know there are people out there in the community who would fill this bill. I have their phone numbers. But it's up to them. One of them must step forward, as Carolyn Boyle said, and be the one to make it happen. So cue the "Jim Schutze for School Board" campaign signs. Otherwise you're just debating why someone else won't solve the problem—which really solves nothing.

Amy S., via dallasobserver.com

Want the white parents in Dallas who care about education to step it up in DISD? First, you've got to convince them to pull their kids away from the excellent education they're getting in private school and subject them to a sub-par education in DISD for a few years. The white parents who care about their kid's education turned their backs on DISD a long time ago. Quite frankly, you've got to give them a reason to fight for a system that they've already written off and resent paying taxes to every year.

Hunt, via dallasobserver.com

Jim, great article. I think one thing standing in the way of parents getting involved is the sheer size of DISD. Break up DISD into 20 or 30 pieces. One high school, two middle schools and four elementary schools per district. Each district designed to be a majority minority district (should be doable since the district has more than 90 percent minority enrollment). Very flat organizational structure. Big districts are difficult to run in the best of times. DISD cannot and will not be reformed. Dismantle DISD and the parents would step up. So would the neighborhoods. DISD is full of solid, hard-working teachers. They would rejoice at DISD's demise. Take up the cause. I'll even run for school board.

Billy, via dallasobserver.com

"Hurrying the Hotel," by Sam Merten, October 23, 2008

The Smell Test

This force-fed convention center hotel is the most expensive in U.S. history. It is 68 percent more expensive than the last nine similar convention center hotels built. Plus, Dallas is probably the cheapest construction market in the U.S. It smells bad. Look at the numbers: http://profile.imageshack.us/user/victorypark/images/detail/#204/cchotelcostshl4.jpg

Mark, via dallasobserver.com

Explain to me why the Hyatt Regency cannot be renovated and connected to the convention center. How much would this cost? Why has this option not been discussed?

Eric, via dallasobserver.com

"Picking Cotton," by Richie Whitt, October 23, 2008

High Cotton

I enjoyed the Texas-OU game on TV, and I cannot wait to take my son to the game next year. I am glad they spent $57 million on making the Bowl better.

Two points: I drove by the new stadium out in Arlington. I do not think there is any way Jerry Jones would have reduced the size of his building to fit into the Cotton Bowl space. I do not think it was necessary for Dallas to spend $330,000,000 for a stadium. Time will tell, but I do not see Arlington getting any bang back for those bucks.

I was born and raised in Michigan. When I go to the State Fair and the Cotton Bowl, I feel a sense of history. Look around Dallas and I do not think too many places are saved from the past. Please note the Sugar and Orange Bowls are gone; only the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl remain.

In summary, more power to Jerry Jones getting rich off O.P.M., and the Cotton Bowl picture on Page 11 is sweet.

Lawrence Bentley, Plano

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