The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. Orxas Obsrrurr An Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper Yo1.47 SEPT. 28, 1955, AUSTIN, TEXAS 10c per copy No. 23 T. SLUMS. OF. TEXAS First of a Series of Reports On the Grim Urban Rot That Has Settled Upon Us 1San Antonio SAN ANTONIO The boosters call San Antonio the fastest growing city in the Southwest. it is also one of the fastest. growing slums. For 15. years San Antonio has had a piecemeal public housing program, bitterly resisted all along.by private builders and slum landlords. Only 4,699 public housing units have been built. .Yet 41,000 of the city’s 110,000 dwelling unitsmore than one in threeare rated sub-standard, and the number increased 1,000 .a year in the last census decacti…. There are about 5,000 pit privies within the city limits and almost as many outdoor flushing toilets. Fifteen thousand San Antonio families do not have bathing facilities in their homes; 23,000 live in. places “without running water or dilapidated.” The minorities are a majority, and . San Antonio is ‘a low-income town. Latins make up 45 percent, Negroes .7 percent of the population. With a third of the city’s families earning less than $2,000 a year, _14 percent less than $1,000; educations are chopped oti for lack of lunch -money, much less college tuition. Many of the minority citizens are thus consigned to a cycle of pcior jobs, poor eduCation, and poor jobs. Shun living follow \\sas a necessary consequence. . Thousands-of San Antonio families wash under, outdoor faucets, when they wash ; use kerosene lamps for light ; cook on kerosene stoves ?r hot-. plates ; drink larvae-in tested water bought by the canful frciltn the water vendors. They sleep :four in a bed, the .rest on the floor. They try to find ways to keep the rats and, the roaches off the children at night. In the winter the cold comes in. . “The. City of the Sun” still tolerates corrals,rows of shacks -encircling a community ‘privy area and a water spigot or two. Gas .and electricity in the roomsare rare and uSually. cost extra when-, they are available. Used 106, paper . litters privy floors., .A. rent-collecting_tenant at a corral at. 519 Monterrey Street, on the West Side, said the landlady told her not to let: the tenants bathe tOo often in the single cold-water shower, as it ran the water bill up. Belia. Morales, an abandoned -‘mother raising her seven children in her two cheerless, vermin infested roonis at the corral, said of the landlady ; “She’s. rich, she doesn’t care about the poor.” The rent a month, $2.50 a month extra for a drop-cord light blub. . Some of the city’s worst slums start In “Veath two blocks from the downtown area. When Mrs. Marie McGuire, executive director of the San Antonio Housing Authority, addressed the San Antonio Rotary Club at a downtown hotel, she told them: “We know that Within a few blocks of where we are today in luxury stir 7 rounding -s there . are 20 families using one toiletfilthy, hideous communal accommodationsone room for families of ten or more.” CASE WORKERS among applicants for admission to San Antonio’s eleven public housing projectslearn first-hand the human meaning of the slumsthe congestion, the shame, the personal despair. They found a man, a woman, and eight children in one room on South Alamo, sharing a toilet with fen other families. _ -COLLEGE ‘ STATION A hundred state water experts met here last ‘week and turned’ over in their minds specific and general suggestions for-the better use of the water Texas .has: R:Johnston, U.S. bepartttent , of Agriculture ;researcher, reported that 362. million acre-feet of, water falls on Texas yearly with85.5 Mil-lion evaporating in the air or off the ground. The land absorbs 232 million acrefeet, 60 million,then evaporating’ from the soil, 10 million going deep’ as “ground water, and 161 million being used by plants. Cultivated crops, forage s crops, and commercial -timber get only” 30 million acre-feet, however ; brush and weeds get the other 131 million. A total of 44.5 million acre-feet runs off into streams and rivers. Only 7,5 million of this ‘is used ‘for’ irrigation and city and industrial purposes; the balance returns to the sea. Some points that were made ‘ Ben Stale ., of Corpus, Christi said people in his area are realizingwater They tell of a couple with eleven children, ages 3 to 16, the father a shoemaker,. unable to earn enough to keep the children in clothes and lunch money. They lived in a four-room house just inside the city limits, nine blocks from the nearest bus along a dirt road. They had drop-cord bulbs in three of the rooms, an outside toilet, and a water spigot \(which also The parents and the four girls slept in the two beds ; the boys slept on the floor. The cold came through the cracks in the wall. Their rent was $15 a week, plug kerosene for the stove. A. -nine-child Negro family was found.liying-in two rooms on the East Side. They had one outside water spigot that was also serving 14 other families: One of the children was sick with diarrhea. The only food in the house was a half a loaf of bread, a jar –is worth more . in the West than in Corpus ; E. V. Spence of Big Spring’, manager of the Colorado River’ Mu,nicipal Water District, said . that sentitnent in the growing West . will not permit further losses of water to the . _lower reaches of the rivers and that they might even pump water .up, stream. Archie ‘Kahan of the A&M Research FOundation .” suggested the Highway Department might install rain gauges every ten miles on the highways. Be expressed hope radar might give weather officials a better method of estinating rainfall. Fort. Worth’ S city water director, Uel Stephens, said that industry is &Int a good job of’ re-cycling water it uses in manufacturingprocesses. State Senator Dorsey Hardman of San Angelo said that idea i of financing a water development program out of mineral revenue were “pure demagoguery” last session and again advocated a three cents:per $100 valuation ad valorem tax. Chairman R.. M. Dixon’of the State Board of Water . Engineers said an’ Overall state authority on water is needed. He suggested better education of jelly, a potato., and an onion. For a toilet theylifted up a loose board it the middle of one of the two rooms. The father was tubercular but would not accept charity care because .he feared leaving his family. He was persuaded to go to a hospital after the fatuity moved into public Another applicant family lived ina . .shack built on the top of a grocery . store. You had to climb a ladder to get to it. For water they reached out of the window to a spigot extension. The average -substandard house is not as bad as these, of course. It is usually dilapidated, it may have plumbing and water, but it is overcrowded, and it usually hag fire and health hazards. Housing workers found one family of four living in a single room In a converted residence . on Hackberry on economical. \\rater use and MeasureMent ‘of farm water use in acre feet instead of acres. The dollar .value . of water needs to ‘be esti.*lished before specific. investment c:in be committed to its acqui. sitt’on, Max Starcke, president of the Lower , Colorado River Authority, said. J. B. Thomas of the Texas Electric Service Company said that in the last ten years of more intensified soil treatment, water available in streams has decreased as much as 50 percent. He suggested the soil may be being treated too much. He said eventually we may have. to desalt brackish, water, saline under groun&water, and sea, water. Dr. B. Page, head of A&M”s DeParttnent of Agronomy, said loss’ of water by eVaporaticin may be minimized by addition of chemicals to the soil.. Lack of coordination between agen -cies wear listed-as the chief ‘weakness of the nation’s water program by Frank Newman, Jr., Houston’ engineer. Tlie conference, sponsored by A&M, may become an annual affair. S.A.H.A. Photo A CORRAL-LIKE SLUM IN SAN ANTONIO Triangle” on the West Side, Three-Fourths of the Infant Diarrhea Deaths WATER,WATER, ANYWHERE? 4.
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