Unlovely Rita
Memo to Dallas' meter cops: Don't mess with geeks bearing high-tech equipment.

It seems that Dallas' parking enforcement corps has been having a field day (and night) ticketing the cars that squeeze into the Ross Avenue area once a month to buy and sell computers and high technology at the First Saturday flea market and pocket protector festival.

The techies, who say the relentless pursuit of minor parking infractions is nigh unto harassment, are on the verge of frying their silicon wafers about it. "I'm sure if Mort Meyerson has a big concert going on, they're not so critical of the parking of those big Cadillacs," says Karl Ireland, who says he witnessed the parking oppression firsthand. "They seem to forget that high-technology people have made Dallas the city that it is." (He says this in all seriousness, by the way.)

Ireland has a digital camera--doesn't everyone?--and he happily e-mailed Buzz the above unretouched digital photo of a fire hydrant. (Note to aspiring paparazzi: Our art director assures us that we can accept graphics files of civic leaders in compromising positions in nearly any format, including JPEG.)

Marty's good, but not that good
State District Judge Manny Alvarez tried to bury the hatchet with reporters at recent gathering, and a final revelation dribbled out about the infamous Michael Irvin drug trial/circus. At the Philbin Awards luncheon two weeks ago, speaker Alvarez lamely pleaded that gag order-happy judges like himself can get along with reporters. "I think when all was said and done, the media was happy with the way I handled things," Alvarez told a room full of incredulous reporters and First Amendment lawyers.

In Alvarez's defense, State District Judge John Creuzot, who initially slapped a gag order on the Irvin proceedings, stood to explain that the Irvin grand jury was so unnerved by the revelations being reported while they were deliberating that they asked him to "sweep" their chambers for illicit hidden microphones.

"I had to pay for it--the county had to pay for it," the judge and former assistant district attorney said.

Every village has one
We have to admit, however, that we were moved by a recent guest column in the DMN's Today section. Under the headline "It takes one villager with a sharp eye," staffer Jeffrey Weiss wrote about an encounter with a couple of juvenile delinquents--to use the discredited term for behaviorally challenged children--who were throwing stuff at a passing mail truck.

Then Weiss poetically flew off on a flight of fancy about a heron that exploded out of the underbrush during the kid confrontation. Buzz hasn't seen prose taken to this level since the days when reporters regularly inhaled.

Finally Weiss brought his column to a climax with:
Kid, if you're reading this, here's what I want you to know:
I'm not your neighbor, but I am in your village.
I'm watching. I care. I'm not alone--and neither are you.
Actions have consequences. Do the right thing.

To which a dewy-eyed Buzz can only respond: Jeffrey, if you're reading this, we're not your writing coach, but, unfortunately, we are in your village. Do the right thing and knock off the purple prose.

Straight from the heart
We were momentarily struck dumb by a recent story in the Texas Jewish Post about the new cantor at Dallas' Temple Shalom. We didn't find it particularly amazing that Cantor Don Alan Croll is openly gay, or that he has brought his longtime companion with him to Dallas. It is the 20th century, after all, even in Texas.

What knocked us out was an editor's note accompanying the story that included this important information: "The synagogue's Search Committee and Board had no problem in choosing a gay professional. He is not effeminate."

Before you call Ripley's Believe It or Not, Buzz must point out that Croll does have a wonderfully subversive sense of humor. He told the Jewish Post, "The people [in the temple] are--if you'll forgive the expression--bending over backwards to make me happy."

Safe until 2000
It appears the DMN blinked in its confrontation with The Quigmans cartoonist Buddy Hickerson. The Quigmans, if you remember, was tossed from the paper's comic pages because a couple of Hickerson's dark, somewhat bent panels included politically based humor, which is forbidden on the DMN comic pages.

Hickerson had hoped he'd be allowed back in his hometown paper when the election was finished and the world was again safe for satire.

Painted lady
You may not be aware that Mary Kay Inc.--in its never-ending quest to improve the human condition--offers a journalism prize, one of the numberless Dallas Press Club's Katie Awards given out each year for allegedly outstanding journalism. This year, Mary Kay's Texas Legacy Award honored Houston television station KHOU-Channel 11 for a production that, according to a Mary Kay presenter, best evidenced cooperation among the news media, government, and the private sector. If Buzz recalls correctly, this was an area of journalism pioneered and perfected by the late, great Pravda.

By the way, KHOU's message, "which has done the most to improve the lives of people in the Texas communities they serve" was this: Don't pour grease down the drain.

For some reason, we didn't even think of entering Buzz for the award.

--Glen Warchol

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Glen Warchol