The Weekly’s story about wheelchair-bound student Adam Main being booted out of TCU’s on-campus housing (“Handicapping Adam,” April 26, 2006)drew about 80 postings (at last count) on a TCU weblog.
Just goes to show that school isn’t the mass of apathetic socialites in-waiting it is oft depicted as. Students and alumni came out punching on both sides of the issue. Some cringed at the university’s sneaky tactics in collecting secret reports on a severely disabled student from his now closed-mouth roomies. Others defended their alma mater, blaming the Weekly for what they deemed a one-sided story that demonized the good ol’ purple and white. Many bloggers debated the question of whether TCU-trained reporter Beth Wreford harbored a secret grudge against the university and its administration.
The blogs appear to be just the beginning of the fuss, though. Some TCU students are seeking to reprint the story in the hopes of igniting the hidden flames of activism in TCU’s notoriously indifferent student body. Static gives that effort a thumbs-up, but just hopes they can do it before the summer tanning season enters full swing.
What If It’s Really Falling?
Fort Worth residents are considered kooks for suggesting that gas drilling could contaminate the earth, ruin property values, and maybe even blow up and kill somebody. A farce of a task force has been studying whether to tighten a drilling ordinance that allows gas wells within 300 feet – a football field’s length – from residences. Industry reps who hold sway in the group have trouble hiding their smirks and disgust during public hearings when activists get three minutes to mouth off.
After the Palo Pinto County blowout in December, gas drillers yawned. “It’ll never happen in Fort Worth,” they said – activists who suggested otherwise were Chicken Littles crying about the sky falling. Then, an April 22 blowout killed a worker and caused the evacuation of 500 homes. Activists screamed I-told-you-so. Drillers called it a rare accident, human error, nothing to worry about. And those who said otherwise were vultures. At the April 27 task force meeting, a pro-drilling speaker called activists a “special interest group” that was “exploiting” the man’s death to support their claims. Hell, those same people would probably blame Chicken Little, pluck his feathers, and drop him in a boiling pot if the sky actually fell.
Other cities have required 1,000-foot buffer zones without legal ramifications. Mayor Mike Moncrief did a little bit of the right thing and said he would consider a 600-foot buffer. That didn’t suit activists, who have long demanded 3,000 feet. Ringleader Don Young considers anything less than 1,000 feet an insult. Last week, Static had Young with a metaphorical pillow over his face. This week, … hmmm, better start boiling the water and plucking his feathers.