Static: Wednesday, February 23, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Shapin’ Your World

Static thought of several smart-alecky things to say about Fort Worth Weekly being named this week as recipient of the “Movers and Shapers Award” from the League of Women Voters of Tarrant County. Thought about issuing a “take that!” to those who think of the Weekly as the den of the devil-spawned. Then Static thought ... nah. Let’s just report that this group of very active and thoughtful voters gave the award in recognition of “the impact that [the Weekly’s] local reporting has had,” mentioning the “several significant scandals” and other public concerns — Fort Worth school district investigations and environmental abuses in particular — that locals have learned about from reading the Weekly. “There is no question that their reporting influences public policy and the way government is practiced locally,” the League said. And then we thought of sending copies of this item to all those taxpayer-paid people at city hall, the school administration building, and the courthouse who don’t return our reporters’ calls. Why is it that a newspaper seeking truth is so often treated as the enemy? Don’t city leaders want people to know what’s going on? (Uh oh, if Static keeps showing that much naivete, the League is liable to take back its award.)
Amid all this self-tooting of horn, Static should also note the other folks recognized by the League on Tuesday. Ruby Dillon and Nancy Hagan both received a Tennis Shoe Award (we hope they call it the “Tenny”). Dillon, of Richland Hills, was recognized for her longstanding commitment to environmental concerns and a list of volunteer activities long enough to make Static hyperventilate. Hagan is founding executive director of the Alliance for Children, which helps coordinate services for abused children and their families, and also founded a statewide association of programs similar to the alliance. Given many of the stories that have landed on the Weekly’s doorstep in recent years concerning child abuse and especially child sexual abuse, the need for such programs is obvious. The award name makes Static think of the lesson that all city employees, politicians, and reporters learn — ignore the ladies in tennis shoes at your peril. They’re usually polite and self-effacing, often a bit obsessed on issues, but they usually know what they’re talking about. And they keep coming back. Just like the Weekly. So, to Ruby and Nancy, a Static saa-lute!

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