Jim, Ed Oakley Says You Suck
Kathleen Matsumura, publicist for the League of Women Voters of Dallas and a contributor to Sharon Boyd's Dallas Arena, also sends out her own newsletter via e-mail, which seems like a lot of extra work. Nonetheless, we were delighted to see the most recent one, if only because our very own Jim Schutze got a mention--from council member Ed Oakley, no less. Only, it was a kinda-sorta mention--one of those sly, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, smarty-pants, smart-ass references you make about people Whose Name You Dare Not Mention. Odd. We'll say Ed's name all day long. Ed Oakley. Ed Oakley. Ed Oakley. Why can't he say Jim's name just once? Why does he have to be "a writer for Dallas' weekly entertainment tabloid"? And speaking of, Ed, we haven't been an "entertainment tabloid" for, oh, 16 years--around the same time some folks would say we stopped being entertaining, but screw them.
"Bridging the possibilities...
There are those--most of whom do not live on District 3's side of the Trinity River--who see the Santiago Calatrava-designed bridges as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Of course, the entire Trinity River improvement project also has its half-truth critics who dismiss both the real value and symbolic value of developing a long-overlooked asset that connects one long-overlooked half of Dallas with the other. We'd suggest that the Trinity Project's primary detractor, a writer for Dallas' weekly entertainment tabloid, step away from his easy seat at the computer keyboard and run for public office......but that's been tried.
So, it is with great excitement we learned in the last week that new construction bids for the Calatrava bridge--at what is now Continental/Singleton--are now affordable. The original construction bid was driven up by the cost of giving seven flat sides to the surfaces of the
bridge's high, white arches--rather than one smooth tubular shape. It also turns out that we can use European steel on the project at a considerable cost savings. Decisions were made, the architect's design was modified and $44 million was saved.
And--regarding costs and who's paying for what--allow me reinforce that a standard bridge was budgeted to be constructed at that location by the Texas Department of Transportation. Dallas community leaders wanted more than 'the basic model.' Private donors stepped up to fund the design, help pay for the bridge's upgrade and, along with elected officials, also helped identify and win additional Federal dollars for the project--money that could not have been used for any other local need.
So, the bridge's critics may dismiss the 'eye candy' over a 'smelly ditch' as a 'bridge to nowhere' but you and I know that it all depends on your perspective...and your vision. To those on our side of the Trinity, the Calatrava bridges represent and celebrate hope, economic development, visual identity, opportunity, the future, and finally being connected to a city that has for 150 years done its best to look the other way. Let the bridge-building begin."