Pulse of the CITY

for the record


“The Dallas school board has never seen an opportunity it couldn’t bungle.The choice of a new superintendent earlier this year was no exception. Given the chance to set a new standard by reaching outside the education establishment, the school board instead fell back into its comfort zone, which is to say, mediocrity. Dr.Waldemar Rojas may be a wonderful man and a great guy, but his 30-year career suggests he’s done as much to contribute to the problems of public education as to fix them.

Rojas owns a résumé that reads like a parody of an educational bureaucrat. He spent 24 years climbing the greasy pole within the gargantuan, woefully mismanaged New York public school system before being rescued from oblivion to head the San Francisco public schools in 1992. His New York years are pockmarked with proud bureaucratic titles: executive assistant of this, deputy executive director of that, deputy director of something else, executive director of this, executive administrator of that.

Nothing in this background suggests that Rojas has the slightest idea of what’s wrong with big city schools or what to do about it. In that, he will be a perfect complement to the school board who selected him,”

-Wick Allison

Publisher’s Page

September 1999


“He was being played like a fiddle and pressured like a flapjack.”

-Jeff Tillotson, attorney for Tennell Atkins, who filed a lawsuit accusing city council member Barbara Caraway and her husband, Dwaine, of squeezing him out of his lease at the Red Bird municipal airport.

Dearest Daddy,

“You cheated me, you cheated mama, and you made me shower in truck stops…”

TALENTED COUNTRY SUPERstar LeAnn Rimes turns 18 on Aug. 28. Happily, she’ll now be able to manage her own affairs. But the legacy of being a child sensation lives on, as a lawsuit filed on her behalf by her mother. Belinda Rimes, works its way through a Dallas court. After she hired forensic accountants to examine the books, Belinda filed a lawsuit accusing LeAnn’s father, Wilbur Rimes, and her former attorney Lyle Walker of bilking LeAnn out of as much as $7 million, with her father triple-dipping fees as her manager and producer. As you might expect, they have denied wrongdoing.

But the accusations don’t stop there. Apparently, life on the road was hardly a fairy tale. To support her 1996 debut album, Blue, the lawsuit claims that Wilbur forced then 13-year-old LeAnn to tour incessantly, making up to three appearances a day. She had to sleep on crowded tour buses and shower at truck stops or in the one hotel room rented to serve the entire group.

That same year. Wilbur became romantically involved with Catherine “Cat” Dickenson and bought three new “Kingsley Coaches” from her family’s company. After leasing the buses to his daughter for $4,000 each, he took his girlfriend on tour with the family. Belinda claims the “mental torture” of the living arrangements compelled her to return to Dallas. (Belinda and Wilbur later divorced and he married Cat.)

Despite the lawsuit, Dallas attorney Tom Rhodus says daughter and father aren’t completely estranged. In June, LeAnn invited her father to a party she threw in Nashville. “They have spoken with one another,” Rhodus says. “But at the same time, it wouldn’t be accurate to say there hasn’t been a lot of stress and strain there. People talk about friendly lawsuits, but there’s no such thing.”

Dig Deep Folks, We’ve Got to Pay the Band

Charities dish out big bucks for entertainment.

WHEN CHARITIES BOOK HEADLINING entertainers for private functions or fund-raising balls, they often pay more than the entertainer’s normal rate. Two to three times more. Okay, we can understand charging a company like Exxon list price, but why the Junior League?

Bedford-based Gary Osier of Gary Osier Presents is one of only a handful of “talent buyers” in the state. Among other gigs. Osier also buys bands for Cattle Baron’s Balls in Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Wichita Falls, and Arlington. This year alone, Osier will buy talent for 250 performances.

TOP DOLLAR: Star s like Maitina McBride up their fees for events like Cattle Baron’s.

“When a performer becomes a marquee attraction, the ticket buyers are coming to see them. At a corporate or charity function, the crowd’s there for some other reason-not just for the entertainer. Entertainers want lop dollar for that kind of show.” Performers also understand that tickets and tables sell at premiums for what are often one-time-only events.

“Billy Bob’s, nightclubs, amusement parks, and concerts usually pay performers based on ticket prices and capacity. That’s it. And, bands can play them whenever they want to. When a charity ball gives you a date, there’s only one dale they’re interested in. They pay for that.” And so do you.


Dallas-based lingerie site offers intimate apparel that women will actually enjoy wearing.

LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR TOMIMA EDMARK OF TopsyTail fame has launched her next big thing-online underwear. HerRoom.com is the answer to complete hassle-free lingerie shopping. Unlike Victoria’s Secret based in Columbus, Ohio. HerRoom.com’s Dallas-based, all female staff brings you wearable lingerie. In an all-out indictment of department stores with picked over, ill-fitting intimate apparel, Edmark says. “We’re not in the business of pleasing men. We’re in the business of pleasing women with sexy, comfortable pieces.”

“Intimate Wisdom,” a new innovate tool, allows shoppers to access information for measuring and even enables them to place the selected bra under six different “virtual” blouses to judge the fit under different necklines. Edmark aims to put the fun back into ordering lingerie for women of all sizes: “We sell lingerie that women buy for themselves.”


Surprise. There are some.

Sandy Lake. Ask any middle schooler about a good Dallas beach, and they’re sure to spout off Sandy Lake. It’s really an amusement park on the sandy shores of-surprise-a lake.

Lake Ray Hubbard’s Chandlers Landing is one of the oldest and nicest beaches in Dallas. Chandler’s Landing is quite serene and has been around long enough to actually look natural-a real bonus. But beware of the crowds.

Stonebridge Country Club is the epito-me of a well-manicured, man-made beach. It’s very pretty, very private, and only open to members.

Joe Pool Lake sits snuggly between Grand Prairie. Cedar Hill, and Duncanville. Lake houses on the shore have a bird’s eye view of summer fun seekers sunning on the sand, picnicking, and water skiing. Boat rentals are also available.

Cockrell Beach. Okay, Cockrell Beach isn’t really a beach; it’s a grassy field behind the stadium at SMU. But that doesn’t stop the college crowd from setting up grills, unveiling the newest swimwear of the season, and sun worshiping.

■ Lower Greenville and Deep Ellum present Venice Beach as their sandy offering. But, their sand sits inside a hip-hop club that boasts-with a straight face-that Vanilla Ice and Sir Mix A Lot have graced the stage.


994,000 Gallons of water in the Esplanade Fountain at Fair Park.

15,904,000 Number of eight-ounce glasses of water you would have to drink to equal 994.000 gallons.

2,723 Number of years it would take to drink 994,000 gallons if you drink 16 eight-ounce glasses of water every 24 hours.

$1,300 Cost of filling the fountain for a special event.

Source: Fair Park Adminstration


Unfortunately, it’s catch and release in Texas:

“June Signals Start of Pervert Season”

-Park Cities People. 6/8/2000.



If you hurry, you still have time to squeeze in a last-minute summer getaway. And site59.com offers cool ideas for “spontaneous consumers’ who like to travel spur-of-the-moment. Dallas has recently been added to the list of six cities offering vacation packages. The hook? Each getaway is a little offbeat-trapeze flying in Vegas, kayaking with sea otters in San Francisco-and it includes transportation, hotel, and often some-thing extra.

Arm Charms

Look dazzling at any black-tie affair with Carter’s 18-karat white gold with diamond bezel and bracelet, $45,100, These beauties are limited to one per year per premier jeweler, so you won’t have any problem running into a look-alike. Richard Eiseman Jewels, NorthPark

The men’s Pasha De Cartier chronograph automatic 35 mm with a chocolate strap, $17,500. Richard Eiseman Jewels, NorthPark

The Tank Francaise is one of the hardest watches to get around your wrist-only because the timepiece is so popular that finding one can be a bit time consuming. The Tank Francaise is 18-karat gold with a high polish and automatic movement with a date on the face, $19,500. Richard Eiseman Jewels, NorthPark

The smaller Pasha De Cartier 32 mm with 18-karat yellow gold with diamond case for an elegant finish. $28,100. Richard Eiseman Jewels, NorthPark

5 H-Hour Hermes watch is a standout with stainless steel and a diamond “H” on the face and discreetly inlaid in the band, $9,200. HERMES, Highland Park Village

6 Espace men’s watch comes with a digital alarm, chronograph, two time zones, timer, and the date. Great for the international jet setter. $2,200. HERMES. Highland Part Village

7 The men’s Cape Cod-which looks just as sleek on a woman’s wrist-is unique with its double leather strap hand stitched on bridle leather. $1,675. HERMES. Highland Park Village

8 Piaget’s women’s 18-karat yellow gold and diamond watch is dainty enough for the most petit woman’s arm, $11,050. Bachendorf’s, Preston Road and The Gal lens

9 The Techno Marine is the trend of the moment, with a green band and two rows of dia monds around the face. It’s sporty and glamorous in one, $2,040. Bachendorf’s, Preston Road and Trie Galleria

10 The Panerai Luminor Marina is a watch for the ultimate masculine man. This watch can go sailing, golfing, or to your board meeting, $8.500. Bachendorf’s, Preston Road and The Galleria


The papers are graded. The students are gone. Professors read for fun.

DR. DAVID SWEET, director of the graduate program in humanities at the University of Dallas, is reading Herma Melville’s Moby Dick with his 11-year-old son, William. “William loves Moby Dick very much, especially with us tackling it together.”


associate dean at the UT School of Nursing, is reading Single and Single, the latest thriller from spy master John LeCarre.

“I’ve read every novel LeCarre has written. Single and Single is wonderful.”

MARSHALL TERRY, professor of English at SMU and author of Land of Hope and Glory, is reading Stephen Harrigan’s The Gates of the Alamo. “Harrigan’s book is the best treatment about the truth of the Alamo and an excellent read.”

CY CANTRELL, professor of electrical engineering and physics at UTD is reading Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. “I’ve read all the classic British Everest Books. Into Thin Air is excellent.”


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