Letters: Wednesday, October 31, 2002
Know Your Poison

To the editor: I wanted to compliment you on the outstanding article about Carswell. (“Poisoned Lives,” Oct. 17, 2002). Great work! In the interest of facts, I wanted to clear up a few points.

First, the area mentioned was not a clinical nuclear medicine room since 1959. I was the noncommissioned officer in charge of nuclear medicine in 1988. The radioisotope permit to operate was not issued until 1989. Second, Iodine-131 was mentioned, but that was rarely, if ever, used. Almost all procedures utilized Technetium-99m. Third, X-ray equipment was never kept in that room. I should know. The photograph of the room, on page 11, was taken by me. There was barely enough room for the technician and the patient, much less any X-ray units. Again, congratulations on a most interesting article.

James E. Timmons

MSgt, USAF, Ret.

Fort Worth

Editor’s note: Iodine-131 and technetium-99m were both named in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission document as permitted isotopes for use in that room, and 1989 was the date the room came under the regulation of the NRC. The room had been in use for years, previously under permit from the U.S. Air Force Radioisotope Committee at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. Thanks to Mr. Timmons for the clarifications.

To the editor: I worked with Randy and Tom Charles and Karl Moll [at the Carswell prison hospital]. I left the Bureau of Prisons a couple of months prior to the problems described in “Poisoned Lives.” I was the HVAC [heat, vent, air conditioning] supervisor. I worked for Terry Davis and [another supervisor] from 1994 to 1999. I also know the inmates involved. On several occasions I was told by Terry Davis and/or the second supervisor that the room in question was a nuclear medicine room and “not to disturb anything” if I had to go in there to work on something. They both knew what that room was and that it had lead lining it. I will gladly tell this to anyone that needs to know. Also, the air handlers that serve that area send air to two other floors, which means that when the lead dust was pulled into the return air duct it was sent to two other floors. It was filtered by three sets of filters, but I don’t know if lead dust could make it past the filters.

Troy Allen

Kings Point, N.Y.

Jus’ Joshin’

To the editor: In the Static column (“Middle Finger Painting,” Oct. 17, 2002), your paper mentioned that a person called your office “with a heavy Texas drawl” and went on to quote that person as saying “sum-buddy” and “purty funny.” I can see the humor in this, but isn’t your paper named the Fort Worth Weekly? It seems to me there are perhaps thousands of folks in Fort Worth with “heavy Texas drawls,” and they might consider this as somewhat mocking if not downright arrogant. In fact, you might even come across as sounding like a bunch of Yankees who have come down here to teach us dumb Texans how to speak. I enjoy your paper, but I hope you do not end up alienating yourself from the very readers you’re attempting to attract.

Brett Johnson

Fort Worth

Editor’s note: Most people on the Weekly’s editorial staff have some version of a Texas drawl, from light to industrial weight. The description of the caller’s twang was not intended as an insult.

FWPOA and DA Race

To the editor: Although I have friends on the Fort Worth Police Association board, Ithink it’s time to speak up about the board’s support of Tim Curry for district attorney.

I retired from the Fort Worth Police Department in Sept. ’95 after 43 years of service. I was a detective for 32 years. At the time of my retirement I had been a homicide detective for a number of years.

It appears that the FWPOA board has taken it upon themselves to speak for the entire department in this support for Curry. In doing so, they are supporting another loser as they did earlier in the year when they endorsed Wallace Bowman for judge, knowing that he had been arrested. The entire membership of the association should have had a vote on the very major endorsement pertaining to Tim Curry. Instead this decision was made with no consideration for what the membership might desire. It would appear that John Kerr, president of the association, has the attitude that all he needs to do is contact Tim Curry regarding officers who have been involved in criminal acts in order to get their cases shelved. Kerr seems to have the feeling that these officers are what the department needs to serve the people of Fort Worth. It has been documented on video as reported by tv news that Curry’s employees have been found drinking at the local pub during county office hours, which seems to be condoned.

It is obvious that John Kerr has no personal knowledge or experience pertaining to the filing of a case and having to buck Tim Curry’s office to get the case submitted for prosecution. During my many years of submitting police cases to Tim Curry’s office for prosecution, I found that his office picks and chooses only a limited number of the cases presented — that he wants the “cinch cases,” meaning that he does not want to have to fight to win cases.

What we need is Tim Curry out of office due to the corruptive exploits of his office. My support is behind the candidate who is morally responsible and has high credentials, having been a prosecutor in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office for 10 years and with the U.S. Attorney’s office for four years with an exemplary record. This person is Terri Moore.

J.D. Roberts

Fort Worth Police Department, retired


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