I’ve always thought that San Antonio is a remarkably rumor-free community given its much-bragged-about small-town nature. It’s also miraculously polite. Generally we can’t provoke a verbal smackdown from our readers unless we unfavorably review a musical (why musical fans are prone to such passion is, I imagine, a topic for teatime speculation in more gossipy towns, but here we live and let rant).
Maybe it’s the erratic spring weather — indoor Easter-egg hunts make everyone a little edgy — but the gloves are off and the phone lines are buzzing. First in the ring: Flamers vs. Keli Dailey, whose April 4 update on an AWOL pot grower `“Kahuna on the run”` provoked a number of livid posts. She’s a narc, a vengeful no-talent, and only lazy reporters use MySpace as a source, you (the royal you) posted at Sacurrent.com. We’ve reprinted a couple of the most vitriolic, which are not shy about scatology and no friend to grammar, in our Upfront Mail, page 3. Finally, a Washington D.C. reader stuck up for our news editor, noting that blogs and other digital postings are legit and rich sources of info in these times.
Dailey’s uber-logical response is to direct cranks to the real source of trouble: our draconian drug laws. See the Queque, page 9.
The heat of the Big Kahuna thread barely laps at the bonfire that is “A Routine Job, A Routine Execution,” Dave Maass’s March 21 Q&A with death-row inmate Vincent Gutierrez, who was put to death March 28 for the murder of Air Force Captain Jose Cobo. The unvarnished interview provoked almost comical hostility. “I can only say that were it up to me Mr. Maass would be strapped to a gurney opposite Gutierrez’s today,” wrote Joshua Harvey.
But it also drew thoughtful comments from strangers and friends and family of Gutierrez and Cobo, in the end creating a microcosm of our society’s struggle with the death penalty.
“We have to stop and think that Vincent wasn’t born a bad person. He just hung around people that were up to no good,” wrote one reader. Another added: “To Jose, Flaco, and all the homeboys from our generation who have passed on to the next life, In loving memory I will continue to live, cherish, and appreciate a life that neither of you will have the opportunity to fulfill.”
Thank you for keeping the conversation going, readers.
Now, onto the dish.
A rumor surfaced last week that Tobin Endowment trustee Bruce Bugg might be looking for a San Antonio buyer for the Georgia O’Keeffe watercolor that goes on the auction block at Christie’s next month. `See “Bread or roses?” March 21-27.` The painting is one of 53 works of Endowment art being sold; proceeds go to the McNay Art Museum’s new building fund. Christie’s says the painting will not be sold before the auction. But if an Alamo City-based collector raised their paddle for the winning bid, it might mollify some of Bugg’s and McNay Director Bill Chiego’s critics, who can’t believe they would let the 1916 “Blue I” go for the estimated sales price ($1.8-2 million for all of the work, says Christie’s). One local collector who won’t be bidding nonetheless calls the O’Keeffe “one of the 10 most important American watercolors.” Tune into Christies.com May 24 to follow the live auction.
In the meantime, turn your attention to the River Walk, where the debate over formula restaurants is expected to heat up again when the Mayor’s task force on forming a committee with oversight of River Walk development presents its recommendations to City Council — possibly the first week in May. The task force was formed last year, after a May proposal to limit formula restaurants on the River Walk ran into opposition from business interests. `See “Unchain my river,” May 3-9, 2006.`
The Mayor’s office isn’t ready to release details from the draft recommendations says Chief of Staff Larry Zinn, but, “`Hardberger’s` interest and his concern hasn’t changed.”
“We could have used a commission a year or a year-and-a-half ago when this came up,” he added. “The Mayor’s made no secret of his wish to have a dedicated commission.”
Former River Walk mainstay Justin Arecchi, whose ice-cream shop was forced out in favor of another Landry’s chain (the yet-to-open Saltgrass Steak House), is worried that any proposed oversight board wouldn’t be given decision-making authority.
“What I’m afraid of is that they’re not gonna make it a group that has any real teeth in it,” he told the Current.
But we both know who does have teeth: Current readers — as you’ve proved in your posts. So while you’ve got your keyboards out, maybe you’ve got something fiery to say to the people charged with protecting your River Walk? You can find their contact info at Sanantonio.gov.