Suckers: Not long after Dallas city council member Mitchell Rasansky started talking about the need for a vote of the people on the Calatrava "signature bridges," Buzz began seeing signs of pressure by the mayor and city manager to head that off. For one thing, Rasansky himself appears to have been taken to the woodshed at least a couple times by Her Honor. He wouldn't give details--only that the mayor was upset.

The mobilization also appears to have reached the blogosphere: blog maven Sharon Boyd was called in for a session with City Manager Mary Suhm, in which Boyd was informed that Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze was full of it.

Schutze pressed Boyd on it later, asking her: "Full of what?"

But Boyd would tell him only that Suhm had disputed many of the facts and arguments Schutze had presented in a recent cover story about the bridge project ("Eye Candy," August 31, 2006).

Then there was the assault on the Observer's bridge coverage on the D magazine blog last week in which Schutze was characterized as a liar.

So, is this that thing newspaper hounds love best--the sweet sound of an arrow gone true? Is somebody afraid what might happen if the bridge thing ever winds up before voters?

But back to the more important question: What is Schutze full of? We like to think of it as righteous indignation, but maybe it's dyspepsia caused by trying to swallow all the claims about what voters approved when they passed the $246 million Trinity bond issue in 1998. City officials insist we'll get what was promised. Now, what was that again?

"A chain of lakes and a variety of recreational fields in the Trinity River corridor would give Dallas what it has been sorely missing--a public gathering place similar to Central Park in New York or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco," wrote one supporter in The Dallas Morning News before the vote.

"If you've ever taken a stroll down San Antonio's bustling River Walk, sat by a lake in New York's beautiful Central Park, or driven along Austin's scenic Town Lake, then you know how valuable these recreational areas are," stated a pre-election flier published by bond supporters.

Better still, we found this prescient quote in the News from former city council member and bond supporter Larry Duncan:

"The lies in this campaign are flowing deeper and wider than the Trinity at flood time," Duncan said. "The truth will prevail."

Don't bet on it.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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