Neighbors along the path of a DFW Midstream gas pipeline in south Arlington haven’t been happy with the noise and disruption accompanying the construction work. Now several residents say the construction is causing damage to their homes.
Ed Flanegin and Felipe Martinez, two residents currently fighting eminent domain seizure of a swath of their backyards, said they’d heard other residents complain about the construction but didn’t really understand until the Driver Pipeline crews arrived outside their doors.
“You just don’t understand how bad it really is until you actually experience it yourself,” said Flanegin.
Both men said the ground-shaking work isn’t just an annoyance but damaging as well. They pointed out several long cracks in the brick exteriors of their homes, along with cracks running through the pavement of the street, all of which they believe are the result of tremors from the pipeline construction.
City officials aren’t convinced. They are writing off the cracked streets to pre-existing damage in the three-year-old development or to damage associated with notoriously unstable soil in southeast Arlington.
Neither Flanegin or Martinez buy the unstable soil theory. And both plan to seek compensation from DFW Midstream.
Young and Hurting
Her information didn’t reach the Weekly in time to make it into last week’s cover story, “Young and Hungry,” which looked at the effects the recession is having on children and families. But Julie Evans’ message is too important to lose. She’s associate director of the Alliance for Children, which serves abused kids in Tarrant County. “For years we have had pretty consistent numbers when it comes to child abuse,” she said. “But in the last year, as the recession in Tarrant County has caught up with the recession in the rest of the country, our number of child abuse cases has risen considerably.”
She described a case in which a middle-class husband lost his job just after his wife gave birth. To keep the family afloat she returned to work earlier than she’d anticipated, and he became a stay-at-home dad. “But that was not something he was prepared or trained to do, and when the child wouldn’t stop crying one day he shook it so hard he caused serious injury,” Evans said.
Her agency is seeing more and more of those stories. “Financial stress is just one of those things that lead directly to an increase in child abuse,” she said.
From Now on, Call Him “Geoff”
Six years ago, staff writer Jeff Prince didn’t know an Onderdonk from an Oompa Loompa. But in 2005 he was assigned to write a story about A.C. “Ace” Cook, whose private collection of early Texas art rivals that found in many museums. The writer was amazed by the quality of paintings hanging on the walls of Cook’s Bull Ring soda shop in the Stockyards. Prince became fascinated with the artists, their backstories, and the history behind their creations. Since then, he’s written extensively about early Texas art in Fort Worth Weekly, which had not previously covered the genre. On April 17, the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art (CASETA) held its annual symposium in Houston and awarded Prince a Distinguished Service Award.
“This is the first service award given to someone outside the organization,” said longtime CASETA member Morris Matson. “It’s in recognition for the scholarly writing Jeff has done to bring early Texas art to the masses.”