City cool: I'm with Jim and council member Angela Hunt. Build the parks, lakes, bike trails, etc. and ax the toll roads and fancy bridges ("Eye Candy for Suckers," by Jim Schutze, August 31). Why? Well, as a 33-year-old Gen-Xer who has called Dallas home for the past nine years, one of the "cool" things I like about this town is being able to hop on White Rock Trail and ride my bike down to the lake. It's relaxing, scenic and most of the time there's eye candy (girls, not bridges). Just my opinion, but the more places we have like this in Dallas, the cooler this town will be. Heck, who knows. It (the proposed Trinity River park project/bike trail) might even attract some of the "Dallas haters" from Austin. I'm talking about the Austinites who, upon hearing that you're from Dallas, sarcastically reply, "Ew...I'm sorry."
Bridges of Neverland: I read the Dallas Observer every week. You bring to light issues the mainstream publication will not. Yes, I do read The Dallas Morning News every day as well. Jim Schutze and the Observer have done a lot of great work following the Trinity River project and the ensuing sleight of hand that's been put on the citizens of Dallas. With the '98 bond package and the artists' renderings of a "downtown lake complete with boat launches, a jogging trail and wooded-park areas" came a sense that the bean counters had figured it out. Then came the toll road to alleviate Interstate 35E congestion just west of downtown. The lake and park pictures (and the money set aside for them) were quickly replaced by those of suspension bridges straight out of the 21st century designed by a "revered" Spanish architect named Calatrava. Our bond package for a lake just got filled with cement and iron.
Dallas is becoming the new Neverland. We can all be kids again and spend a ton of our parents' money on what sounds "cool" at the time. None of us will ever have to grow up!
Can I get a witness: Jim Schutze is the greatest public witness this city has. If not for his exposition of questionable actions of city government, most would go unnoticed...keep up the great work! We as a city need it.
Democracy--what a concept: Jim Schutze, as usual, is right on the money on the Calatrava bridge. Literally. Here's an idea: How about asking the voters how we want to spend that much money? I'd really like to know how many residents of the city of Dallas would prefer to spend money on designer bridges rather than, say, a park. I don't know any. Now, you want an icon? I could be convinced to pay for a world-class urban park in the Trinity River Forest. Or how about just building new parks in areas of town that don't have any? How about spending city money on Southside on Lamar or Deep Ellum, say, on a blues museum? Let's spend money on things that make Dallas a place where people want to live, not something they cross on the way out of town.
A shock for the cynic: This is one of the most disturbing articles that Jim Schutze has ever written. That people who are in fiduciary positions would be so Machiavellian is not surprising, but their absolute boldness in misapplying public monies still surprises me--and I'm the town's No. 1 cynic.
Had Schutze not been poking around and asking questions, I am convinced this horrible scheme would have happened and everyone would be wondering why no one told us about it.
Someone ought to nominate Jim Schutze for some special citizen/journalist award. He may have saved our municipal bacon.
Let's start over: Scorcher of an article on Calatrava. But please tell us: What steps does one take to "hold a new election to de-authorize the project and start over from scratch"? What would someone have to do to get a new election on this started?
Play It Again, Sam
Rude but righteous: Before I write anything about the departure of Sam Machkovech from the position of music editor of the Observer ("Is This On?", August 31), I would like to disclose two things: I know Sam very well (lived with him for a few months and went to college with him), and I don't like Sam. He is quite frequently rude and obnoxious. Despite this, I believe the Observer has lost a treasure. I cannot imagine anyone being a better music editor for the Observer. He is passionate about music in Dallas, creative and a good writer. Sam's contributions to the Observer have been the only reason I've bothered with your abortion of a Web site since leaving Dallas. I believe Sam was not simply a great editor because he was committed to producing high-quality work (which he was), but because of his commitment to using whatever influence he had in his position to help other Dallasites take pride in their local music scene. Sam's departure is not just a loss for the Observer, but for all music fans in Dallas.
Brooklyn, New York