Best and Worst of Times

This 280-page April magazine marks our biggest issue ever. It was the efforts of a committed staff that made it all come together. While bigger doesn’t always mean better, I can promise that we over-delivered on quality features this month.
    Before we get too carried away celebrating the magazine’s good times, we turn our focus to those in our community that have hit rock bottom and struggle just to survive. Writer and photographer B.J. Lacasse gives readers a look at the faces behind those cardboard signs held by panhandlers on the street corners. In her story this month, Flying Signs (page 80), B.J. spent some time on the street to get to know these people and share their stories.
    Records indicate Tarrant County in whole only has 20 panhandlers; Fort Worth accounts for 15 - 18 of them. B.J. spent time with nine of them. Eight were males and one female. All but two had a felony conviction. Four were disabled, rendering them unable to work. Three had social security as an additional income stream. Three were veterans of war. Seven out of the nine were homeless. All seven chose not to seek refuge in a shelter for varying reasons. Two, however, were on temporary suspensions from the shelters. For these seven, it came down to making enough for a daily room rental, food and any addiction expenses.
    Everyone confessed to making on average $30 per day. This feature was originally conceived to find out if in fact the people out there begging, day in and day out, were really in need or just greedy. Sadly enough, there was not one person that did not need money, food, help or all of the above.
    In this edition, we also tackle the issue of robotics being used in modern medicine (Robotics Revolution, page 70). From medical mechanisms that can perform surgery while the doctor controls them nearby at a console to lifelike patient simulators being used in medical training that can sweat, breathe and bleed, usage of robots in the medical field is borderline science fiction.
    Current and future generations of doctors will require a drastically different training process from earlier generations. Many of these doctors can be found on our annually published Top Doc list (page 103).
    Fort Worth, Texas magazine sent a survey to more than 4,500 local physicians asking them to voluntarily rate their peers and name the best doctors in Tarrant County. Medical professionals willing to participate went online to cast their votes. While we provided the fields of specialty, the physicians identified the professionals they regard as being leaders in those fields. The doctors’ names were then submitted to a select panel of physicians for review.
    While we hope our readers remain in perfect health, if you do need a doctor, this issue is a good one to keep on hand and reference year round.

Jennifer Casseday-Blair
Executive Editor