I just got off the phone with the president of Klyde Warren Park, Mark Banta. A couple of things need clarification here, and then an apology. I referenced a WFAA report about the glare from the tower. On WFAA’s website, the written version of the story ends like this:
Officials from Klyde Warren Park declined to comment for this story, but did say the glare does not affect them… even though its visitors do seem to notice.
I did not watch the video version of the story, so what I failed to understand is that those words were spoken by the anchor, John McCaa, after the reporter, David Schechter, had tossed it back to the studio. Banta tells me that he didn’t decline comment and that he’d never say the glare doesn’t affect the park. Banta was in the park when Schechter was working on his story, and he talked to the reporter about the story he was working on.
What’s more, Banta says he didn’t know the pension fund had donated to the park. He didn’t become president until March, by which time $50 million in gifts had been made. So the folks who have their names on the park? Yes, he knows who they are. But the pension fund? He says he didn’t know that it had donated money. Meaning, of course, his silence couldn’t have been bought.
“I would never say the glare doesn’t affect us,” Banta says. “We are hugely impacted. The Nasher is our neighbor, and we need them to succeed. Museum Tower is our neighbor, and we need them to succeed. We moved into this great neighborhood, and we’ve got this very difficult situation.”
When he says “hugely impacted,” he means politically. As for the plantings, Banta says they will have to wait and see what effect the reflected heat and light from Museum Tower might have. They’ve already lost some trees, but that’s a result of drought.
The closing line of the WFAA report should have given me pause. (They declined to comment but also commented that they were unaffected?) Instead I leaped to the implication that park officials had been influenced by cash. I shouldn’t have. Mea culpa.