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Static has been amazed – make that appalled – for years that the Weekly’s continuing revelations about the horrors of the women’s federal prison hospital at Carswell have not produced any official investigations, congressional inquiries, or mobs with torches showing up outside the joint reserve base’s gates. But finally, thanks to veteran Weekly writer Betty Brink and the editors at Ms. Magazine, the problem is finally getting some national press.

Brink has been covering the Carswell atrocities for a decade or more – including rapes, possible murder, and case after case of medical neglect and malpractice so profound that many women’s relatively short prison terms for nonviolent crimes have been converted to de facto death sentences. She took those stories and converted them into “Carswell Prison Blues” for Ms., in the summer issue just now hitting mailboxes and news stands.

If there is any justice – an increasingly dicey question in the United States these days – maybe this story will light the torch. It’s too late to save the health and lives of many former inmates, but many others could be saved from similar fates.
Static will be curious to see whether this Ms. issue makes it through the censors at Carswell and other prisons – the feminist magazine has an ongoing project to provide subDELETEions for women inmates around the country.

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Prince Goes Statewide
Not to be outdone, Weekly staffer Jeff Prince also has his byline on some glossy paper this month – but in a much lighter vein. Texas Music magazine’s summer issue features Prince’s profile of his friend and fellow singer-songwriter James Michael Taylor. Prince calls the Fort Worth musician “an outlaw Einstein, a nutty professor with an immense talent … and practically no audience, although that’s beginning to change.” (He also reveals the skinny Taylor’s diet secrets: going all day without food and then “feasting” on a thin slice of tomato, with salt and pepper, between two slices of wheat bread, after which he “groan[ed] as if he’d had four helpings at a Pancho’s buffet.”)

Put That Idea in Cold Storage
We all know Fort Worth is not a very pedestrian-friendly town, and the latest rankings by a group called Walk Score confirm that. Cowtown ranked 33rd out of the 40 largest American cities. The city received 45 of a possible 100 points, which Walk Score said means we are “car dependent.” Yeah, that’s breaking news.

The Walk Score web site also scores specific neighborhoods. So Static typed in the Weekly’s address on Hamilton Avenue near the Cultural District and found we scored an 85 – “very walkable.” But the devil is in the details. Our area got points because there’s a “grocery store” (the 7-Eleven) nearby, bars like J&J’s Hideaway and the Black Dog Tavern (no longer in business), and the original location of the Four Star Coffee Bar (ditto). Walk Score also did not take into account the availability of sidewalks (very few in our neighborhood), decent public transportation (ha), and how weather affects people’s willingness to walk. (Daily three-digit temps reduce that factor sweatily … uh, handily.)

Upon further review, Static figures its ‘hood is no different than the rest of our burg. Call us car-dependent, AC-addicted, heatstroke-averse. Just don’t call us to go walking, at least not until, say, November.

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