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Stan Aten
Citizen D


01/01/03  The more we repeat history.

If you haven't got a copy of Darwin Payne's "Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity in the 20th Century, Revised Edition", you might want to make that a must do for 2004.  "Big D" is so well written. 

In October, I wrote about some people thinking that Dallas needs a Red Light District.  I quoted extensively from "Big D" about the city's previous two red light districts and their negative impact on the city, and who did what to break them up.

That piece was in response to the Mayor suggesting we might need to move all the sexually oriented businesses into one area, possibly the old Naval Air Station.  Of course, Grand Prairie would be really pleased to have that stuff near them.

Now, that great intellect Wick Allison is calling for a new red light district in Dallas.  The jerk lives in the Park Cities, so he considers most of Dallas as trashy and just an area to drive through on his way to where the better people like him reside.  A friend called this little bit of stupidity from
D Magazine to my attention.


  Five Great Ideas for Dallas

Some we borrowed, some we stole, and one we came up with by ourselves. From building an airport in South Dallas to a minor league baseball team to creating a red-light district (seriously), these are five ideas that can make Dallas better.
FIVE: Create a Red-light District
It seems every day brings us another news story about homeowners protesting the relocation of a topless bar to their neighborhood (see PT?s Gentleman?s Club and Club Silk). But someone must want the bars; otherwise they wouldn?t be so profitable. And owners have no choice but to seek new locations because the city code forbids ?sexually oriented businesses? from operating within 1,000 feet of each other.

We say change the code. Cluster the topless bars in a red-light district. We suggest a stretch of Northwest Highway in West Dallas, beyond Bachman and near Irving. It?s accessible by I-35, there isn?t a residential neighborhood for nearly a mile, and several premier strip clubs already inhabit the tract, including the Lodge, Baby Dolls, and the Men?s Club.

We?ve had one before. Frogtown was in the West End in the late 1800s and kept many of the city?s bordellos and burlesques concentrated and removed from citizens? day-to-day lives. It failed due to general lawlessness, but a new district would be regulated by City Hall. ?Troy Slonecker

Good ole' Wick is a wannabe ODB.  So, him calling for a red light district and more bars and no zoning laws (like he said at a recent Greater Dallas Planning Council meeting) means Our Downtown Betters must think sanctioning whorehouses is good for Dallas business.

Apparently, I have someone's attention about all this sex club business because the
Dallas Observer is now taking note.  I mean -- I rated 2 entries in their 2003 review.  That's a pretty big deal.  Don't get mad -- this is funny, funny stuff.  And, NO, it wasn't me at the Nasher event.  I haven't been to see the collection yet.  I'm OK with naked statues, so long as they aren't touching the art patrons.

Sob Story:Buzz sheds a tear for 2003
BY PATRICK WILLIAMS | originally published: January 1, 2004

October-December . . .
No peeking:
Dallas city officials consider a proposal that would outlaw lap dances and any form of physical contact between customers and dancers at the city's numerous strip clubs. "These are whorehouses," community activist Sharon Boyd tells Observer columnist Jim Schutze. "For somebody to say he has a right to a lap dance, well, no, he doesn't. If it's something he wants, then he needs to get his wife or girlfriend to do it." A representative of the city's sexually oriented business responds that "if wives and girlfriends did that sort of thing, we wouldn't even be in business." News of the prospective ban soon reaches the ears of Phillip Jones, who is found curled up in a fetal position and weeping underneath his desk at the Convention & Visitors Bureau.  . . .

Cover up: The long-awaited Nasher Sculpture Garden, featuring a $70 million museum and gardens housing the $400 million sculpture collection of developer Raymond Nasher and his late wife, Patsy, is unveiled to fanfare downtown. Opening festivities are marred, however, when security guards catch Sharon Boyd draping a nude bronze in a full burqa. "If men want to see that sort of filth, they should get their wives and girlfriends to strip at home," Boyd tells reporters.

Back to the serious stuff, Chip Northrup reminds us of another decision made by the ODB back at the turn of the century that we are revisiting here in 2004.

Of course, the source is Darwin Payne's "Big D".  (That's why you need to get a copy for your own.)

"Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity in the 20th Century, Revised Edition" by Darwin Payne, Ch. 8, p. 180
"In those heady days great dreams were envisioned for the 3,300 acres of floodplain between the levees. This acreage, as Dealey had said in his ground-breaking speech, was to be transformed into a huge park system, available for use except for occasional times of high water. The slanted sides of the levees would be covered with beautiful wildflowers, especially bluebonnets, and on the flat lands between these verdant banks would be sunken gardens, baseball diamonds, polo grounds, golf courses, bridle paths, archery ranges, trapshooting spaces, winding drives, and a two mile long lake with a Coney Island atmosphere. Even a landing field for airplanes was projected for the space northwest of where Turtle Creek entered the river."

But, the page before really says more about how things work in Dallas.

"Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity in the 20th Century, Revised Edition" by Darwin Payne, Ch. 8, p. 179
A petition signed by a majority of the levee property owners, most of whom stood to make substantial profits with their land made usable, authorized similarly the "private" awarding of a contract for the levee work. . . .   George B. Dealey, appropriately was the speaker.  . . . "A blot on the landscape near the heart of Dallas will be removed, and a great industrial development will gradually follow.  Not only this, but near the heart of our splendid city there will be developed a park containing hundreds of acres, with a clear channel in the middle of it -- a park equal in width to ten city blocks and miles long," he optimistically proclaimed.


That's just rips me.  What they did in 1902-1912 (the opening of the Houston Street Viaduct) was more to enrich three major families than it was about what's good for Dallas or the every day people who got to pay (and still serve as indentured servants) to make those families rich.  All with the promise of a giant park near Downtown.  Another of those un-kept promises made by Our Downtown Betters. 

George B. Dealey was and is synonymous with Belo Corporation and Belo is
The Dallas Managed News.

Citizen D has a clever idea for readers to add to his list of broken promises that we have heard over the years to get us to vote for and back ODB Big Ticket Deals that mostly benefit the ODB.   After you review Citizen D's list, submit some other projects that were either not done, not done as promised or cost us much more than the proponents had promised.
  Chip Northrup:
Dealey, Moroney and Stemmons.  This speaks to the fact that bait and switch on the Trinity is a multi-generational game.
  Chip Northrup (Part II):
   For the record, (and I'd ask you to post this), I think Jim Mornoney III is a major improvement on Burl Osborne.
   I don't think the DMN is behind the political confidence game on the Trinity.  I just don't think they've  done their best to separate fact from fabrication.
  Editor's Response:
We will have to disagree on this one.  I believe Belo is totally the moving force on the Trinity.  Look at their slanted coverage on the lawsuit.  Whenever council seems to be focused on something else -- Belo makes them bring the Trinity Project back to full center.
    Rena Peterson had her failings, but Rena was great and fair and balanced as compared to the new little twit who is now Chief Editor -- little twit -- Rena was great.  .

I'm ready for a new day where things get done right, get done as promised and get done for the city's benefit -- not just to enrich Our Downtown Betters and their families.

Here's to a Happy New Year and
a Happy New Way of doing things in Dallas.





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8