Static: Wednesday, October 8, 2003
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
Felony: Paranoia

The local criminal justice system continues to say nyet to common sense. First, Arlington police arrested and jailed two Russian exchange students in September after they mistakenly rode bicycles onto a secured police parking lot. Police notified a federal Homeland Security agent, who determined there was nothing sinister or covert about the two students and dropped the matter. Police, passing up a chance to let the students off with a severe scare, sent the case to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. Did calmer heads prevail there? Nooooo. Criminal trespassing charges were filed, and now the students, if convicted of the misdemeanor, face as much as six months in jail, a $2,000 fine, deportation, and troubles back home. Perhaps rationality will revive when the case reaches court. Or maybe it, too, was a casualty of 9/11.

Auf Wiedersehen to Our Haus?

In spite of persistent denials from owner Tom Gingrich, it now appears that the takeover of that longtime downtown bastion of alterna-culture, the Coffee Haus in Sundance Square, by out-of-town corporate giant Starbucks is a done deal. A couple of weeks ago, a Coffee Haus employee (who’s since quit her job there) told Static that she’d noticed some items had been moved when she opened that morning. “There are some things we always put away a certain way, and they’d been moved,” she said. She later heard that Starbucks representatives had been in the store after hours, taking measurements of the space. Manager Joe Vano recently left the Haus to run the bar at Manhattan’s in Arlington, and other crewmembers are following suit. They’d been plagued for months by bouncing paychecks, although Gingrich said the problem had been taken care of. A call to the Haus elicited only a “neither confirm nor deny” response, but those who know say Starbucks will invade in early December.

Hunting Holly

As readers may have noticed, Fort Worth Weekly recently put out its annual “Best of” issue, in which staffers and readers took on the serious chore of choosing their favorites in categories ranging from acoustic music clubs to alien abduction nominees. For masseuse (a profession that Weekly classified ads reps know a lot about), readers chose Holly Smith. Only problem: Static and its colleagues don’t know Holly. Don’t know where to send the lovely winner’s certificate. So Holly, if you’re out there, put down the hot oil for a sec and give us a ring.

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