Under the Weekly Microscope
To the editor: The May 27 cover story on the funding of the medical examiner’s office (“Dissecting the Evidence”), by Peter Gorman, was a fascinating education in investigative journalism.
It was Betty Brink who first spun my head around and brought my attention to what the Weekly is doing and why they are incredibly important in the news business in Tarrant County. I’ve been watching with both eyes ever since.
In 2005 I received an incorrect death certificate for a family member. I didn’t know how the medical examiner’s office operates, and since it changed nothing to have it corrected, I didn’t. But you brought into clear view why these records must be absolutely correct and why funding and loyalty are critically important to legal matters. I appreciate having this explained clearly.
I hope the exposure will motivate those with authority to remedy the problem going forward.
I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next, but that’s grown to be a weekly thing that happens on
Chris M Waring
To the editor: Your May 27 exposé about Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani should trigger an orange alert on the taxpayer-screwing warning system. We are definitely getting screwed if Peerwani & Co. are collecting thousands of dollars of what should be taxpayer money. David Fisher has legitimate reasons to question whether the letter of the laws is being followed regarding Peerwani’s contract. A forensic audit would be appropriate, but the medical examiner has close ties with officials who will circle the wagons to protect that office from investigations.
Fort Worth Weekly journalist Betty Brink has been on a crusade for more than a decade about the deplorable mistreatment of the women at the Carswell federal prison and hospital. She has reported on inmates who died suspiciously and whose families afterward were refused access to autopsy records.
The obvious and viable solution to the concerns raised would be for the M.E. to submit to an audit and for the county to renegotiate or rewrite his contract to bring it into compliance with the law.
Peerwani has had a long, illustrious, and lucrative career. But now that he’s in the spotlight, he needs to deal with this before it starts smelling any worse.
To the editor: The Weekly‘s June 3 “Turbulence” by Jeff Prince shows what avarice does to the hierarchy of a lot of large corporations, including American Airlines. They’ve so often chosen the path of greed at the expense of their employees. They got the Wright Amendment passed specifically for them, so they could drive the competition out of town.
American Airlines has enjoyed some lucrative years, and they should now show their appreciation by compensating the employees who took pay cuts to help keep the airline in business.
To the editor: Regarding your blog item, “Tiger Lady Attacks” (Blotch, June 2, 2009): Thanks for focusing some attention on PETA’s Ringling Bros. Circus protest. Closing arguments recently took place at Ringling’s trial on charges that its elephant-handling practices violate the federal Endangered Species Act. Readers can learn more at www.circuses.com.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
In the June 3 cover story, “Turbulence,” the first name of American Airlines CEO was incorrect. His name is Gerard Arpey. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.
To the editor: “Turbulence” was an excellent look at American Airlines’ past and present problems. The airline was in financial straits before 9/11. Then in 2003 they begged their workers to accept less money to keep the airline afloat and out of bankruptcy court. In 2006, and 2007, their finest years since 9/11, they made $230 million and $500 million; they ought to have reciprocated to the flight attendants and other workers whose sacrifices kept the airline going.
A corporate spokeswoman talked about how American workers make more than at other airlines. What a copout. Ask any American executive, “What’s in your wallet?” Answer: plenty of cash and credit cards.
Deregulation in the 1970s administered the coup de grace to many airlines that competed with American. Maybe we need re-regulation to balance the power of some airlines so everyone has an equal chance to succeed.
The appropriate epilogue to Jeff Prince’s well-done article would be for American to compensate those who contributed some of their salary for the future of the airline.