Thank you for the quality of your coverage on the DISD-Dr. Gonzalez story ["Hunter or prey?" and "City of ignorance," September 25]. You appear to be searching for facts and truth, as opposed to generating rhetoric and instigating inflammatory race-baiting and conflict--unlike The Dallas Morning News and local television news coverage.
As an African-American professional, I have been appalled at the attempts of the local media to portray African-Americans as the source of the problem. Like all residents of Dallas, the vast majority of us wholeheartedly support anyone with integrity who will work hard to improve Dallas' schools. The African-American members of the school board, like most black Dallasites, share little to nothing in common with John Wiley Price and Lee Alcorn, who constantly exploit our situation for purposes of self-promotion. Our concerns regarding Dr. Gonzalez do not relate to the fact that she is a Latina, but to her apparent lack of integrity, trustworthiness, and possibly competence. Most of us merely want her to be judged and scrutinized by the same standards and with the same intensity as we are, and we are sick and tired of our legitimate concerns being construed as petty bigotry.
I would have the same concerns if Dr. Gonzalez was a black woman like myself. Dr. Gonzalez has dug her own grave--blacks did not hand her the shovel--and it only exacerbates Dallas' already racially explosive climate to suggest otherwise. It is even more appalling that the president of the school board, Ms. [Kathleen] Leos, [allegedly] played a part in igniting this fire by calling Latino leaders and encouraging them to bring people out to protest--I suppose to put us (blacks) in our place for raising concerns about her friend. I thought she worked for us--all the taxpayers of Dallas. We are all suffering--blacks, whites, Latinos alike--for the follies, failures, and egotism of a small group of individuals with personal agendas.
I appreciate your articles. So far, you seem to have some insight into the issue. This is not about race; the main issue is power out of control. We are witnessing many small-agenda people who are taking advantage of the main issues to promote their personal programs. We have a distorted picture; children and others without full knowledge get carried away by the mob mentality.
When you want the smoke to fly, you play the old race card. Mrs. Gonzalez got caught up in her own power; she started to do things beyond her legal authority. She played the same game as the people she meant to correct. Her family (husband) enjoyed a working relationship in an organization she headed...she allowed credibility to leave her. That spells destruction, and now, for more than just her.
Alas, there is a source for professional, investigative journalism in Dallas. It seems that the major media outlets are nothing more than the superintendent's personal propaganda devices. Keep up the good work.
Julie [Lyons], what purpose did you have in your gratuitous, backhanded insults to participants in a recent DISD board meeting ["City of ignorance," September 25]? Why was it necessary for you to bad-mouth John Wiley Price's choice of head wear? Why did you have a problem with Michael Gonzales' cell phone? Why did you assume the subject of Don Venable's private conversations? Personally, I liked Commissioner Price's new kinder and gentler look. It is certainly much less menacing.
Since we were all held captive in the auditorium for fear of losing our seats, Gonzales was only trying to remain in contact with other Hispanic activists denied entrance into the crowded auditorium. And what you said about me never happened. While the press stood in its corner gleefully recording the anticipated theatrics, some of us were actually working to settle down the very volatile situation. It was the very people whom you gratuitously insulted who worked to avert a near riot.
The last thing this latest DISD situation needs is someone else who has absolutely nothing positive to contribute. Your report contributes absolutely nothing more than guile to the mix, and God knows we need no more of that. Julie, it also applies to journalists that either one should lead, or follow, or just get the hell out of the way.
A district of my own
Thank you, Julie [Lyons], for shedding some light on all sides of the issue ["City of ignorance," September 25]. Is everyone else tired of only hearing one group's agenda? It would appear that everyone in DISD is there so that they can extend their 15 minutes of fame a little longer. Everyone has something to say about something or someone else, and instead of trying to make our schools better and teach our kids, they set out to diminish all other races and build their own.
I think I may have a solution: If the African-Americans and Hispanics think they can do it better than everyone else, then divide the DISD budget into thirds and let them have a go at it. WISD, BISD, and HISD for White Independent, Black Independent, and Hispanic Independent School Districts. Sure, we're talking segregation, separate but equal and all that...but if the loudmouths in DISD had their way, they'd each be leaders of their own little district--a propped-up racial pawn acting as a king in his own fiefdom, who only sees one color.
Too bad all of our schoolchildren have to attend these war-zone-like schools and be submitted to this sort of bickering and infighting.
See Yvonne Run
Kudos to Ms. [Miriam] Rozen for her story on Gonzalez and DISD ["See Yvonne run from the truth," September 11]. I have known from the beginning that there was something about Gonzalez and the way she plays the media that somehow did not paint a true picture. I think that although your story was good, you just explored the tip of the iceberg. Gonzalez believes that she can use and play us and the media into thinking that she is the good guy and that those she has destroyed are bad, which is total baloney. Gonzalez and her DISD investigators need to be investigated by the FBI! Let the shoe be worn on the other foot (Gonzalez's)!
I like Dr. Gonzalez and wanted...want to see her succeed. I still want to see her succeed. I think it is unfortunate that she was never given a chance to improve the district for the children. The entire situation is so much of a soap opera; I think it will be difficult, but not impossible, for her to get beyond these issues.
Asleigh's fan club
I recently read your comments on Channel 4 anchorwoman Ashleigh Banfield [Best of Dallas, September 25], and I have to admit that the girl can sing. But you have to remember that Don Henley once wrote a song about people like this, and if you will recall, it goes something like this: "We got the bubble-headed bleach-blonde that comes on at five, she can tell you about the plane crash with the gleam in her eye." We love dirty laundry, and that's what the papers are all about, are they not?
I've often questioned the facts of many of your articles, but now I am certain you are completely lacking in credibility. The anonymous reviewers who wrote this nasty little blurb ["Best candidate for a woman who doesn't know her place: TV anchor Ashleigh Banfield"] obviously were hearing what they wanted to, perhaps filtered through that beer buzz they mention. Ashleigh never mentioned the fact that she was a TV anchor from the stage. Not once, much less three times.
Ashleigh did not sing a Linda Ronstadt or a Rolling Stones song that night. She is actually a highly trained singer and quite good. So's the band you slammed.
You owe Ashleigh and the band an apology.
Editor's note: The item in question was written by Dallas Observer staff writer Jimmy Fowler. Both he and staff writer Rose Farley attended an Ashleigh Banfield performance at The Asylum several months ago and concur that Banfield mentioned repeatedly from the stage that she was a TV anchor. Fowler says Banfield sang "Sympathy for the Devil," a Rolling Stones tune, and "A Different Drum," which Linda Ronstadt has recorded. We question whether our anonymous correspondents actually attended this particular performance; the date wasn't specified in our article.
Sexiest guys on radio
Just a few words regarding Holly Mullen's article about the Gentle Musers ["Aural sex," September 4]. I was surprised to learn Craig Miller's mother is a former Catholic nun. You'd never know. Also one correction: Grego of the Hardline, not Mike Ryner, pitches VigorFit and it gives a "big boost" in the bedroom. Just thought you'd like the clarification.
I loved the article. I don't know if George and Craig are the sexiest guys on radio, but they make my morning drive a pleasant experience. It was nice to see that other women appreciate TCKT. I'm not alone.
Better homes and zen
Shame on you, mixing your metaphors that way! Zen and feng shui ["Zen in the den," September 11] are two completely different disciplines and traditions.
Zen is an Eastern philosophy that provides its followers a guide to a peaceful and contented life through meditation and self-awareness. Furniture arrangement and good fortune have nothing to do with zen.
The Dallas Observer neglected last week to mention both locations for Bangkok City, which our readers selected as Best Thai Food. The two locations are: 4301 Bryan St. and 4503 Greenville Ave.
In last week's "City of ignorance," the name of Dallas businessman Michael Gonzales was misspelled. We regret the error.