Those magic bridges

Thank God for Jim Schutze, the Dallas Observer, and the truth. Schutze's series of fine investigative reporting on the city of Dallas' Trinity River project has revealed a shocking level of deception (recent articles include "Jack! Jack!," March 16, and "Whoa, Noah," March 9). Trinity project proponents with vested interests, including Halff Associates, the engineering company with the millions of dollars in contracts; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with millions of dollars in construction at stake; wealthy commercial property owners and developers in the Stemmons Industrial District; and the mayor and city council members who represent these wealthy business interests instead of homeowners and taxpayers, have distorted hydraulic models, economic projections, and their own credibility in an effort to sell the public on their "Trinity Vision." They hope the public will buy the idea that a drainage ditch for toll roads is a "park"; that filling the floodway for the roads will "improve" flood protection; that more traffic will solve our air pollution problem; and that cutting 20,000 trees in the Great Trinity Forest will preserve the forest.

Observer readers and all Dallas taxpayers should continue to follow the Trinity project to see who benefits and who pays as the public's costs continue to escalate. Thanks for your excellent reporting. Dallas is fortunate to have one newspaper that will print the truth even about the rich and powerful.

Joe Wells
Dallas Sierra Club
Trinity River Issue Coordinator

Jim Schutze's article on the Calatrava Perpetual Payoff Bridge is hilarious!

Edward M. Baum
Via e-mail

Is there a proposed Calatrava railroad bridge over the Trinity? It only seems appropriate to name it after Ron Kirk.

Brent Everett
Via e-mail

Baby Buddha

How sickening it is to see parents as seemingly intelligent as the Balls pimp and whore their disabled son all in the name of God and money ("Mommy's little angel," March 16). Brad Tyer's article did a fine job of portraying a family that has no apparent qualms about riding the celebrity wave on the shoulders of their crippled son.

I have no doubt that the Balls love Marshall as much as any parents love their child. It seems undeniable, however, that they also love his magnetic drawing power and sales potential. Here is a child locked in his own world, a victim of genetic mishap. His parents, and other wayward gawkers, praise him like a little baby Buddha or Svengali. Marshall's "poetry" is filled with lofty proclamations and hilarious third-person back-slapping. So, I wonder, why would this child have any interest in "discuss[ing] the ins and outs of securing display space in the large chain bookstores"? Answer: he doesn't. But I bet his parents do.

Kudos to the Dallas Observer for showing us what people are capable of. This is not so much a story of a little boy with tragic circumstances and hopeful thoughts, but more so an insight into the sorry state of faith, trust, and honesty in this country. One need look only at Lawrence Becker, the Balls' family friend who publicly gravy-trains himself as a "mentor" to this crippled boy, to see that we are dealing with human suffering on every possible level.

Via e-mail


Your recent article on the perils of topless dance clubs ("Hot and bothered," February 24) is Pulitzer bait! I was shocked, shocked to read of such naughty goings-on at some of the very establishments you have full-page ads for! I always thought of a topless club as a place a gentleman could go for a couple of cold beers while watching a barely legal young lady writhe around on a stage, simulating sex with the floor or perhaps some pole coming down from the ceiling, not some titty bar where, for a $20 tip, that same girl would dry-hump my very own crotch and smash me about the head and shoulders with her large, pendulous breasts! Things must be going very well here in the metroplex that all your crack team of investigative reporters could find to bitch about is what goes on inside a topless bar. Next thing you'll try to tell me is that I might get more than my back rubbed at some of the massage parlors you advertise.

Jim Lovell
Via e-mail

The happy snob

Sharon Boyd complains that "Dallas is about spending money and showing what you have" ("Queen Crank," March 9). She says, "When you are living in a city that isn't your hometown, you're going to live differently, flashier."

I, unlike Boyd, enjoy Dallas' wealth and flashiness. To me, the city's current SUV-driving, Starbucks-sipping, upscale culture resembles a more tasteful version of the Hamptons scene in the '80s. When I park my car in Uptown, I enjoy knowing that most of Uptown's residents have enough wealth not to want to break into my car, as happened last year in one of Dallas' less high-end neighborhoods.

Since Boyd doesn't seem to like anonymous, upscale Dallas, she's certainly welcome to move to my own East Coast hometown and live the half-assed, repressed, uncolorful life that I used to -- incessantly being told her business every time she enters the hardware store or dentist's office: "You did so well in high school, Sharon. Why haven't you been elected President of the United States yet?" I don't care what Boyd says; to be ordered around by old people who've known you for decades is not any kind of life.

I, for one, don't want to know my dentist. I don't want to know my neighbors.

Upscale neighborhoods and Starbucks and big SUVs forever!

Jon Wickham

A critic scorned

From what I gathered of reading the article on The Ranchero Brothers' performance at SXSW ("Northern devils," March 23), Robert Wilonsky was pissed that Rhett Miller didn't give him what he felt was the appropriate introduction to Janeane Garofalo and decided as a result to write an entire article in the Observer insulting Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond.

To be honest, I severely doubt that anyone in Dallas really gives a shit whether or not Rhett Miller gave Mr. Wilonsky the introduction he felt he deserved to Janeane Garofalo. What I read Wilonsky saying that he wanted also sounded absurd. Mr. Miller had no reason to roll out the red carpet for Wilonsky. He probably realized that Ms. Garofalo had no interest in meeting an unprofessional chickenshit music critic for the Observer.

Via e-mail


Last week's Dish column listed an incorrect address. Ciudad D.F. is, in fact, located at 3888 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 135, in Turtle Creek Village. We apologize for the error.

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