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Hooters gets some competition, a man makes a stand against lemons, Laura Miller flubs about LUV, Niven Morgan hits it big with bath products, and more.
By Tim Rogers |

Word of the Month

Hooters have been around a long time. Best evidence we can offer in support of intelligent design. Hooters, on the other hand, started in Florida in 1983. Despicable. Good wings, sure, but clearly not what the Good Lord had in mind. And now it seems the devil is everywhere. Recently two similar dining establishments have come to town. Last spring brought us Twin Peaks in Lewisville (pictured), featuring “well-built sandwiches” and “great views.” Then, this winter, we got the first area location of Florida-based Ker’s WingHouse, owned by former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Crawford Ker, who was sued unsuccessfully by Hooters for stealing its concept. The sinful eateries are collectively called “BREASTAURANTS”—a term coined, so far as we can tell, by Florida Trend magazine in 1987. Like every other trend, though, it took a while to reach Dallas. Cue the brimstone. —TIM ROGERS

Photo by Doug Davis


Luv Our Mayor
Either she’s goofy or the City Council is asleep—or both.

In late November, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller said she was shocked—shocked!—to learn that Love Field, which is operated by the city, lost $3 million a year. “It’s troublesome to me we went through the entire budget process this year and that we didn’t hear about this,” Miller told CBS Channel 11. “I’d be surprised if any councilmember here knew we were running Love at a deficit.”

Um, what?

In his publisher’s note earlier that month, Wick Allison argued in this magazine that DFW Airport should buy Love Field. “Dallas loses money on Love Field,” he wrote. “The city should be begging DFW to take Love Field off its hands.”

Maybe no one on the City Council reads D Magazine. Or they missed the November issue.

But four months earlier, on July 21, the Dallas Morning News noted: “Love Field isn’t a direct moneymaker for the city, which lost nearly $2.7 million last year operating the airport.”

The paper does come out every day. Sometimes it’s tough to keep up.

Well, okay, but what about when Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Love Field’s bonds? “Airline payments have actually decreased,” Moody’s explained, “which has put additional pressure on non-airline revenues and have caused the city to use cash balances in reserve for future capital expenditures. The use of these cash balances to make up the difference in operating revenues is a key factor in the rating downgrade.”

And what about the city’s own audit? On January 14, in a presentation to the council—including the mayor—assistant city auditor Paul Garner noted, “[Fiscal year] ’04 budget and proposed budget for FY ’05 reflect a deficit.”

The next citywide election is in—surprise!—2007. —PAUL KIX


Snap Judgment

THUMBS DOWN: The Texas League of Conservation Voters keeps a legislative scorecard on the state’s politicians. Dallas Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia recently scored a perfect 100. Dallas Republican Rep. Dan Branch didn’t. The man got a zero. Zero! You have to try to score that poorly. And you have to vote to go easy on rock-crushing facilities that operate without permits.

THUMBS SIDEWAYS: The new White Rock pedestrian bridge was needed, yes. It gets runners off the road and more safely around the north end of the lake. But it also spoils the view for thousands of motorists on Mockingbird Lane. The original plan from the 1980s called for putting the bridge closer to the road, thereby making it less visually intrusive, but the dog park (not part of the ’80s plan) precluded that alignment. Alas.


Elvis Exposed

Not many people know who Elvis Presley was. Sure, everyone knows The King, that hip-swinging, jailhouse rocker who drove girls wild. But when Dallas artist JEFF SCOTT—whose work is included in the DMA’s and Smithsonian’s permanent collections—got unprecedented access to Elvis’ intimate belongings, he realized he was seeing a private side of him that the public rarely did. Scott’s new book, Elvis: The Personal Archives, introduces us to the man rather than the myth, with photos of his driver’s license, some of his many monogrammed pistols, even his bedside lamp. Our favorite: Elvis’ Hai Karate cologne. —JESSICA JONES

Photo by Abel Sanchez


Smelling Like Roses
Niven Morgan scores big at Bombay with a new line of bath products.

SLICK: Morgan’s too sexy for his suds.

Seven years ago, sitting in Dallas traffic, Niven Morgan dreamed up a line of body products. He would make bath salts (yeah!), and they would have wonderful aromas (yeah!), and he would quit his sales gig at a chemical company. (Thank God.) That dream has now grown into an empire. Hand creams, candles, face cleansers, moisturizers, and, yes, bath salts—Morgan makes them all. And sells them to companies like Rolls-Royce and people like Britney Spears, who wanted Morgan’s candles for her wedding and baby shower.

Last month brought even bigger news: he debuted Niven Morgan for Bombay Bath, a line appearing at 450 select Bombay stores nationwide. Made in Dallas, the line includes everything from body wash to hand soap.

“We were looking for a product line that was upscale and sophisticated,” says Linda Stephenson, vice president of product development for Bombay. “I thought Niven would be a perfect fit.”

But don’t think it’s all been so easy for the Shreveport transplant. It took a college buddy with a showroom at Dallas’ Apparel Mart to get Morgan’s candles into the hands of a Stanley Korshak buyer. Gavin Smith, the buddy, who’s now the director of Dallas’ Fashion Industry Gallery, says, “All you had to do was light the candle and it sold.” Still, for three years, Morgan had to toil at the chemical company, peddling his wares on the side. To this day, he has only six people on staff.

Yet six is enough. Morgan’s team has already manufactured 22,000 units for Bombay, with more to come. “There are great people in Dallas, and the business opportunities are huge,” Morgan says. “We have everything.”

Including our own clean, good-smelling, bath-products mogul. —STEPHANIE QUADRI

Photo by Elizabeth Lavin


Betting Line



Pub Numerology

For quite some time, we have wondered about the curious numbers painted on the outside of the IDLE RICH PUB, on McKinney Avenue. They aren’t its address. Then we ran into owner Feargal McKinney and finally asked him what was up. The cagey Irishman wouldn’t say. The only hint he would give us is that the numbers have a significance that can be sussed out without any clues from him. They are 3-8-4-6-2. First person to solve the riddle and e-mail the answer to [email protected] gets a prize.

Photo by Elizabeth Lavin


Talking Point

“I don’t care how pretty she is, but she has to have fat ankles. Fat ankles will at least cut the population chasing her in half. I’m sorry, but I want her to have fat ankles.” —MARK CUBAN on his 2-year-old daughter, in the January issue of Playboy


Truck You, Ford
One man gives the finger to the folks who sold him a lemon.

ON DA HOOD: Steve Symonds would love to sell you this car.

Steve Symonds is flagpole man. He operates America’s Flags & Poles in Irving and last summer erected the country’s tallest flagpole, a 338-foot monster in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Symonds, then, is in a line of business that necessitates driving a truck. He has owned Chevys and Dodges, but right now he’s driving a white Ford F-350 Superduty—that is, when it’s not in the shop.

Telling the story, Symonds chuckles. He’s gotten past the point of anger. Now it’s full-on, bona fide bemusement. He bought the truck in November 2004 from Leadership Ford, which is now Troy Aikman Ford. The trouble started in March: turbo charger. Then fuel injectors. And so on and so forth, until, with just 20,000 miles on the truck, Symonds brought it to the shop on eight separate occasions for $19,786.35 in repairs. They were covered under warranty, yes, but for a man who erects flagpoles that require FAA clearance, a loaner Ford Taurus doesn’t quite get it done.

So Symonds had made the lemon decals you see here, about 30 of them. On the decals he wrote the sad statistics pertaining to his sorry truck. One morning he parked the truck in front of the regional Ford service representative’s office and sat there for an hour, eating his breakfast and reading the paper. No one came out to talk to Symonds, though one presumed Ford employee gave Symonds an unfriendly gesture as he arrived at work.

But most of the response he’s gotten has been positive. “People appreciate that a guy is taking a stand against a giant,” Symonds says. “They’ll pull up to me at a light and go, ‘Turbo charger problems? Yep, we had ’em, too.’ It’s funny, because you forget you’ve got lemons on your truck.” —T.R.

Photo by Elizabeth Lavin


Burning Question

Dr. Jim Sterling, of the Dallas Orthopedic Center, will be the United States’ head physician at the Olympic Games—for the second time. Quite an honor, but he is downplaying the accomplishment. So will we.

D: In the 2004 Olympics, there were just truckloads of condoms that went to the Olympic Village. Are there going to be truckloads of condoms in Italy?
I don’t know if there are going to be truckloads of condoms. I will tell you this: that’s not a U.S. [Olympics Committee] thing. That is a local organizing committee thing. And they want to do everything for athletes’ safety. In Australia [in 2000], I do remember there was a big fishbowl in the clinic. So it’s not a hidden fact.

D: There’s a big fishbowl?
STERLING: It’s full of condoms.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jim Sterling

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