Oaks in Limbo
The “lots for sale” signs are up in front of the property at 2201 Oak Hill Rd. on the East Side. That’s the heavily wooded acreage owned by Anthony Caballero, the Dallas developer who pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge.
(He lied to the Department of Housing and Urban Development about a previous felony, in order to get approval to issue HUD-backed mortgages for some homes he built in Dallas a few years ago. Caballero cost the agency more than $400,000 in defaulted loans – not to mention the fact that the loans were made to undocumented workers whom Caballero “helped” by providing falsified Social Security cards.) His sentencing, originally scheduled for early December, has been postponed until Jan. 22. It’s a given that he’s going to get some prison time, amount to be determined by Dallas Federal Judge Sam Lindsay.
Residents have fought this development, which could plop as many as 18 single-family houses down on what had been one three-acre lot, wiping out 100 or more ancient post oak trees. So, neighbors are wondering, is Caballero going to direct the operation from prison or what? According to one opponent, the subdivision could get built with or without Caballero’s continued involvement, since ownership of his corporation, American International Finance & Mortgage, Inc., has shifted to another family member.
So far no lots have been sold. Stay tuned.
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This rag – originally called FW Weekly – survived its first few years because of the stubbornness of a handful of folks who believed with a kind of nutty optimism that this town would support a serious journalistic alternative to the staid, sacred-cow-protecting Fort Worth Star-Telegram. One of the brightest and most versatile players in those early years was Tiffany Robinson Rives, Girl Friday to the publisher, public relations guru, art director, lovelorn columnist with a quirky sense of humor, a woman who had a “great earthy vibe” as one friend remembered, and a great smile.
One would never know by that grin and accompanying laugh that Tiff had been living in death’s neighborhood since she was 18. When she first came to work for the paper in 1996, she had already lived 10 years with a transplanted liver. Neither repeated bouts with a pesky organ that kept trying to reject, nor the devastating effects of anti-rejection drugs ever slowed her down – and she never cursed life for the lousy hand she’d been dealt. She worked tirelessly to keep the paper thriving, married a former Weekly staffer, Justin Rives, and left in 2000 to open an animal care business. But even though Tiffany, like Emily Dickinson, could not stop for death, it finally stopped for her. She died at 38, of liver failure, at home a week before Christmas.
Though not a journalist by training, she understood the profession’s first duty: to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The paper she helped hold together in those cliff-hanging early years is still doing just that. Rest in peace, Tiff.