Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Thoughts for Tuesday / I am back:

1. Was diagnosed with a bulging disc in the L5 of my back which is pressing against my sciatic nerve. Have to take cortisone shots. If that doesn't work, surgery. Fun.

2. Oh good grief – who wants them!

"Dems to return to Texas
Senator says they won't come back to Austin until quorum achieved
07:36 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 9, 2003
By ROBERT T. GARRETT and WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

The renegade Texas Democrats decided late Monday to leave the New Mexico hotel that they've made their home for the last six weeks and to come back to the state for a court hearing Thursday before returning to their homes.

"We will say goodbye to the great people of New Mexico, probably on Wednesday, and then we will be in court on Thursday" in Laredo, said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic caucus.

The runaway senators had vowed to stay out of Texas until another redistricting session was called and a quorum established on the Senate floor. However, Ms. Van de Putte said, the decision last week of Houston Democrat John Whitmire to return to Texas changed the other Democrats' thinking.

They will still stay out of Austin until Mr. Whitmire helps the Republicans reach the 21-member quorum needed to do business but will return to their families in Texas, she said.

"We're not at risk of being captured," Ms. Van de Putte said. [Don't bet on it.]

3. Kudos for Former Mayor Kirk!

"Kirk's criticism angers Bolton
Ex-mayor backs firing; 'He kicked me when I'm down,' ex-chief says
04:44 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 9, 2003
By COLLEEN McCAIN NELSON / The Dallas Morning News

Stung by recent criticism, Terrell Bolton says Ron Kirk is dancing on his grave.

"He's kicked me when I'm down, and that's wrong," said Mr. Bolton, who was fired as police chief two weeks ago.

Mr. Bolton said he is hurt and angered by the recent remarks of Mr. Kirk. The former chief deemed Mr. Kirk's comments "a low blow" and said the former mayor had damaged himself politically.

"There is widespread support for me," Mr. Bolton said. "What he did ... just nullified him." [Not in my book.]

Mr. Kirk, who was mayor during the first two years of Mr. Bolton's tenure, has said in recent days that he would have supported firing Mr. Bolton in 2001. "I had seen enough," Mr. Kirk said last week.
Now, the city's first black mayor finds himself at loggerheads with Dallas' first black police chief. Mr. Bolton describes Mr. Kirk as "immature and greedy" and questions his honesty.

Mr. Kirk said he has no interest in engaging in a war of words and will not return fire.

"I don't think it would further anyone's cause for me to respond," he said. [Amen]

But Mr. Bolton has plenty to say.

"I was hoping to ride off into the sunset," the former chief said. "But when he attacks my name, I have no choice but to respond." [PLEASE RIDE OFF INTO THE SUNSET!]

Mr. Bolton has offered a vigorous and public defense during the two weeks since his firing, saying that he was fired for no reason and asserting that City Manager Ted Benavides acted at the behest of Mayor Laura Miller.

Mr. Benavides has detailed 20 incidents that he said had led to the chief's firing.

Mr. Kirk said Monday that he supported the city manager's decision but added that he sees no point in discussing the issue further.

"I understand the chief is hurting right now," Mr. Kirk said. "I am still prayerful for him and his family."

Mr. Bolton said he was unmoved by the former mayor's gesture.

"I pray for him and his family because I would have never done that to him in his darkest hour," Mr. Bolton said.

The former chief said he feels betrayed because Mr. Kirk had offered him high praise – publicly and privately – in the past. Mr. Bolton said the former mayor gave him rave reviews during the 2000 National Conference of Black Mayors, which was attended by Al Gore.

"Are you lying now, or were you lying then to Vice President Gore?" Mr. Bolton asked.

Mr. Kirk said he was "as excited as anyone" when Mr. Bolton became the city's first black chief. "It was a wonderful day for Dallas," he said.

But over time, the former mayor's confidence in Mr. Bolton eroded.

"It is one thing to enjoy the moment of being the first to do something, but the important thing is how you conduct yourself once you get there," Mr. Kirk said.

Mr. Bolton said the city's first black mayor should measure his accomplishments against the same yardstick.

"Look at his tenure, and look at my tenure," the former chief said. "I stand by my record, and I will put mine up against his any day."

Mr. Bolton said Mr. Kirk's opinions no longer would carry weight in the black community.

Mr. Kirk name has been mentioned as a possible appointee to an advisory committee that would help negotiate with the Dallas Cowboys for a new publicly funded stadium. Mr. Bolton said that the former mayor would not be able to sell a stadium – or anything else – to black voters who support the former chief.

Mr. Kirk declined to respond to Mr. Bolton's assertions.
The former chief has requested a public hearing before the City Council, and that meeting has been scheduled for Monday. He is seeking a settlement, and his attorney has said that a lawsuit could be filed.

Mr. Bolton questioned why Mr. Kirk would involve himself in a dispute that could end up in court.

"We're going to be glad to depose him," Mr. Bolton said.""

4. I saw this on Dave Barry's Blog and still it unbelievable – ARE WILD CHIHUAHUAS TAKING OVER LOS ANGELES?!

"Wild Chihuahua Dog Pack Rescued
Posted on August 19, 2003

A Chihuahua dog rescue organization headed by an ex-daughter-in-law of actor Gregory Peck took into custody a pack of nearly 170 wild Chihuahua dogs in Lancaster, California, sparing them from death at a Los Angeles area animal shelter, Reuters News Service reported recently.

The feral dogs were taken into the animal shelter by county animal control officers last November in the desert town of Acton, north of Los Angeles.

The dogs allegedly were found in what a prosecutor described as "abominable" conditions.

An animal control officer testified at the court hearing that the dogs had wrought havoc in breeder Emma Harter's house, burrowing holes in her walls and furniture and leaving in their wake waste and piles of dead chickens and geese.

Ms. Harter's condition led the officers who came to her house to have her taken into a psychiatric facility for evaluation.

In the animal shelter, the Chihuahuas reportedly killed dogs from rival packs. Both L.A. Animal Control officer Lt. Sheri Koenig and Kim Peck believed that the dogs' interests would be best served by transferring them to breeders who could both provide better care and also tame them.

Calls came in from more than 400 persons in the U.S. and Canada offering to take them. After screening all volunteers, about 20 breeders were advised they would have a few dogs placed in their care. "

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