"Off Course," | Cheap Bastard, | Same Old, Same Old

"Off Course," by Jim Schutze, April 23

till it's gone

Building reservoirs to feed Dallas' growth is Texas' version of paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

Jim R. from Sachse, via dallasobserver.com

That reservoir has been planned for decades. Dallas is going to need that water to prosper. It's a shame that a few outside environmental activists are going to be able to make so many suffer.

Buckeye, via dallasobserver.com

I wouldn't put too much stock in [City Manager Mary] Suhm's statements about conservation. Just look south to San Antonio. We have about five times as much water as they do right now, not counting this supposed lake. San Antonio gets theirs from an underground aquifer and have to be careful about overuse. As a result, they put forth conservation measures that work out great. They use far less water than we do.

I liken this situation to the trash situation. The Council of Governments wants to build a lot more landfills. They say we don't have room for all the trash. However, our region-wide recycling of less than 10 percent is well below the national average of 32 percent. Dallas, 12 percent, is behind Austin, 20 percent and Fort Worth, 20 percent, but still miles ahead of some places that offer no recycling at all (my percentages are about two years old, so things may have changed slightly). Instead of thinking how do we reduce our waste streams, we are still stuck in a mindset of how do we always do what we have done. Same thing with water. Dallas wants to flood East Texas so we can use about half of it to water non-natural landscapes without any rationing. I think the old saying of stupidity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results applies here.

Branden Helms from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com

Cheap Bastard, by Alice Laussade, April 23

Don't Break the Chain

Once again, tree-hugger Laussade is bashing restaurant chains. I have been to Mr. Goodcents a few times since they opened and have been happy with my experience every time. They have delivered to me once as well. It was fast and tasted much better than Subway and Which Wich. This review is outlandish, as is usual with Laussade.

Dougyfresh from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com

"Whitewashing Reality," by Jim Schutze, April 23

Same Old, Same Old

As long as the same groups have control over this city, Dallas will always be mediocre.

Last weekend, I got into a heated argument with an African-American colleague about the dual "good old boys" system here in Dallas. The white North Dallas power oligarchy established a relationship with the "leaders" of black South Dallas decades ago. It was based on the premise that relieving racial pressure like a steam valve would prevent riots. It worked. In other words, give them crumbs from the table and make it worth their while—for a while.

It also created an expectation of privilege and "what's due me" south of the Trinity River. From "walking-around money" to promises of jobs and contracts, nothing changes in this city.

How much free time does Senator Royce West—who represents MY neighborhood (Buckner Terrace)—have? You would think he is busy working for DISD and as a state senator. If he is too busy, is he saying that his stamp of approval on a project is worth 15 percent of a project? That sounds incredibly close to something illegal. I think I have seen that technique used by Tony Soprano, right?

Cheers to [Richard] Allen for standing up. It is time for Dallas to wake up.

Diane Birdwell from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com

A note from Schutze: I need to make two clarifications. Richard Allen did not tell me that Royce West was an "undisclosed partner" in the SALT group. Allen says West's role was fully disclosed to him. West has denied to me, however, that he ever had any role in the SALT group. So, West was undisclosed to me, but disclosed to Allen.

Second, Allen says the SALT group did not call him repeatedly to press him to put West on his payroll. He says the SALT group called him several times to ask him for clarification of why he would not put West on his payroll.

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade
Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze