Static: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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
Getting Past the Buggy Stage

When the Fort Worth Streetcar Study Committee started meeting a few months ago, the panel members often acted like they were Amish folks being taught how to use electricity. They had heard of mass transit, but few had ever used it or knew anyone who had.
But after a recent trip to examine the modern streetcar lines in Tacoma, Seattle, and Portland, the education level seems to be ramping up. Eight of the nine council members went west (including Mayor Mike) along with about 40 business leaders and city staffers. According to several on the trip, the mayor said the streetcar project was “doable,” and several council members assured committee members that the funding can be found.
Before the end of the year, the committee will decide where to put the starter line. One option is the West 7th Street corridor between downtown and the Cultural District. The other is a line to run from downtown through the Hospital District via South Main Street and Magnolia Avenue. And there is some discussion that both lines could be done simultaneously.
If so, that would be quite a turnaround for the Fort – though still leaving the city woefully behind the times, transit-wise. After all, even the Amish have flashing lights on their buggies now. They found a way to make it “doable.”

The Other Brink
Given what Barack Obama’s been going through with his tenuous ties to a 1960s domestic terrorist, Fort Worth Weekly might be in for a similar fate in these troubled times. A Pakistani woman, who shot at some American soldiers in Iraq (and missed) who were trying to question her about her suspected ties to al Qaeda, is now residing at the Federal Medical Center Carswell — and her lawyers are quoting the Weekly in an attempt to get her moved.
Aafia Siddiqui, who is awaiting trial, was sent to Carswell to recover from wounds she received when the soldiers shot back. Her lawyer argued passionately that she should be sent anywhere else, citing the Weekly’s long-running series on the prison hospital’s alarmingly poor medical care. New York attorney Elizabeth Fink is representing Siddiqui, the 36-year-old niece-in-law of the guy known as the architect of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Fink wrote that this paper’s stories show that Carswell can be a death sentence for women sent there.
Static has no quarrel with lawyers citing this rag’s investigative reports on the medical misconduct that’s been a staple at Carswell for a decade. But couldn’t Fink at least get the reporter’s name right? She’s Betty Brink, not Berry Brink — although that does have a nice ring and could provide some cover if she ever wants to run for president.

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