To the editor: Thanks to Betty Brink and Fort Worth Weekly for their persistence in covering the plight of female inmates at Carswell Federal Medical Center (“Carswell Loses in Court,” June 23, 2010). I’ve been involved with this issue since 1999, and it still surprises me how such a large institution with approximately 1,800 female inmates whose families and homes are in all parts of our country, can be practically invisible to the Fort Worth community.
For more than 10 years, Betty and the Weekly have been raising questions concerning Carswell that have never been answered. Linda Fenton died in February 2004. She was 34 years old. In 2010, Judge Means ruled that it was due to negligence. Isn’t it finally time for a full investigation of Carswell FMC? Betty Brink and the Weekly have informed the public and have tried to get answers from the Bureau of Prisons. U.S. Rep. Kay Granger can ask for a GAO investigation at any time. Let’s find out the truth. It is a matter of life or death.
Save the Ridglea
To the editor: As an entertainment venue of historical significance, the Ridglea Theater (“Ridglea Theater to Become Bank?” Blotch, June 21, 2010) really is no different than Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood or Rockefeller Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, except for one thing: The Ridglea is in Fort Worth, and we don’t expect to see such a thing in Fort Worth. After all, this is Cowtown, Where the West Begins, and competing with Dallas apparently means we need something better, shinier, and bigger than a one-screen theater with 60 years of history.
So it would seem that an offer from Bank of America to provide a bank where the Ridglea now stands is accepted as a solid solution. Except that as a city, Fort Worth is looking to foster “urban village” developments, and the Ridglea complex and neighborhood as a whole were ahead of their time in that regard. Built in the 1940s and completed in 1950, the Ridglea complex provided shopping, entertainment, and restaurants within walking distance of the surrounding neighborhoods and still does to this day. For this reason, it is classified as mixed-use zoning and, due to the character that is prevalent within the complex, accounts for a boost in the appeal and values of the nearby properties. To turn the Ridglea Theater into a single banking structure is not only a departure from this “urban village” concept but a loss to the Ridglea area, if not to the “plan” for Fort Worth’s future.
If we hand over this piece of Americana, we will be letting our community slip through our fingers just a little bit more, along with each and every Barnett Shale site in our neighborhoods, the “visionary” project changing our riverfront, and each shell the banks have left behind in their search to crush the competition. Please join me in telling our Fort Worth City Council that the Ridglea Theater must remain.
Elizabeth Jane McCune
Makes Us Proud
To the editor: Once again, as noted in last week’s Static, Fort Worth Weekly has garnered more awards for their journalistic prowess. This time it’s the statewide Lone Star Awards.
Sarah Perry and Peter Gorman have made the Weekly proud. Gorman’s comprehensive pieces about the DISH connection to the gas drilling problem and about controversial Tarrant County medical examiner Nizam Peerwani were nothing short of exemplary. The Weekly is the public’s best informer in all aspects of things that affect the routine of our daily lives.
Due to incorrect information provided to the Weekly, an item in last week’s Static column (“They Vant to Suck Our Blood”) misstated how many years Tarrant County has participated in “No Refusal Weekend” for persons stopped on suspicion of drunk driving over the July 4 holiday weekend. This is the third year.