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Monkey Business

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Mmm, good: The city council directs library administrators to develop plans to open a café at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. Library officials say the new café will serve unique dishes to meet the specific needs of its downtown patrons, including pork and beans warmed over a scrap-wood fire, roasted pigeon, braised stray cat au jus and "the coldest 40s in town."

October-December

Doctor in the house: Thomas Patrick Remo of Ovilla is charged with practicing medicine without a license after an investigator with the district attorney's office notices his advertisement for free "fantasy" and "couples" gynecological exams in the back pages of a local weekly newspaper. OK, OK... this local weekly newspaper. We're so proud. Remo had set up an office and exam room at a self-storage facility where he posed as a doctor. Investigators' efforts to locate any women who had undergone exams are unsuccessful, prompting Dallas Observer publisher Alison Draper to issue a statement blaming the lack of response on the small size of Remo's ad. "We want to assure all this city's fine dominatrixes, hookers and trannies that Observer ads get results. Remo should have just bought a bigger ad."

Birds of a feather: A judge orders the reinstatement of a 13-year Dallas police veteran who was fired after a background check revealed that she had been arrested for prostitution in Hawaii in 1981. Administrative law Judge Frederick Ahrens rules that the city abandoned its right to discipline the officer because officials had known of the arrest since 1997 but took no action. "Besides, if anyone who ever prostituted him or herself was kicked out of city jobs, the city council wouldn't be able to seat a quorum," Ahrens says.

Abstinence this: Students at Johnson Elementary School in Southlake get an unexpected eyeful when a teacher inadvertently plays them several seconds of a sexually explicit video left in a school VCR. The students had been watching an Election Day video on the three branches of government when the naughty video began playing. "At first, we thought it was just more of the same about what Tom DeLay and the GOP majority are doing to representative government, but then we realized that no Republicans in Congress are hung that well," the embarrassed teacher says. "That's the last time I use any audio-video equipment stored in the teachers' lounge."

Queensberry rules: Management consultants appointed to review City Hall operations issue a report calling for less infighting among city council members and the elimination of "negative and disrespectful treatment of staff, of the private sector and one another in public meetings." Acting on the recommendations, the city council adopts rules of conduct banning "slurs on fellow council members' mothers," "blows with closed fists" and "the carrying of knives and/or straight razors greater than 5 inches in length" at council meetings.

Selling point: Two days before an adult entertainment awards show at the downtown convention center, city officials reveal that they are considering lowering licensing fees for adult businesses from $4,800 to $1,400 as a result of a lawsuit filed by topless clubs. Following the decision, the Convention & Visitors Bureau's Phillip Jones announces that the bureau will alter its "Live Large, Think Big" marketing slogan to "Dallas: Live Large. Think Big. And See Some Nice Titties For Cheap."

Real nice: The National Coalition for the Homeless releases a survey calling Dallas one of the 20 "meanest" cities in the nation in its treatment of the homeless. Following the survey, the city council authorizes spending $300,000 to keep the downtown Day Resource Center open overnight, giving downtown's homeless a place to sleep. The plan is delayed, however, when the city neglects to get a variance to its own zoning rules to allow the center's clients to stay overnight. "We're sorry for the mix-up, but trying to cut through City Hall's red tape and bumbling management is a nightmare," a City Hall spokesman tells reporters. "Frankly, I think someone should fire us."

What, no keno?: Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reveals plans to create a hedge fund that "invests" in wagers on sporting events. Cuban says part of his motivation for creating the fund is to show that investing in traditional markets is just another form of gambling. Unlike traditional hedge funds, however, investors in Cuban's fund will be given complimentary cocktails, and those who fail to make margin calls will face mandatory meetings with "investment advisors" Dominic and Vincent.

Putsch comes to shove: City council candidate Beth Ann Blackwood, president of Citizens for a Strong Mayor, files petitions with 30,000 signatures calling for a May vote on a proposal to strengthen the powers of the Dallas mayor. Under Blackwood's plan, the office of city manager would be eliminated and most of its duties given to the mayor, who would also be authorized to forcibly annex Mesquite in order "to clear a space to the east" for future growth.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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