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Buses and Bridges The Laredo Situation LAREDO Whoever owns the bus company that has the Laredo franchise sure gets a good deal. The city collects about $24,000 in franchise taxes from Central Power and Light, $11,000 from Southwestern Bell, and $9,000 from United Gas, but the Laredo Transportation Company pays only $525 a year. As it happens, Albert Martin, former mayor of Laredo and inheritor-apparent of the Webb County political machine formerly bossed by Manuel Raymond, is president and and the ex-mayor to have the one-third owner of the La franchise. The number one city redo Transportation C o m father,Mayor Joe Martin, Junior, pany, and his brother, Joe is the sheriff’s son and the exMartin, Senior, owns another mayor’s nephew. A recent report third, even though he is said mistakenly that the Martins county sheriff and president owned two-thirds of the Laredo of the school board that regu bridge, and of this Mayor Martin laxly deals with the firm. exclaimed with a laugh: This curious situation has been going on for some time, but apparently the city fathers think it is perfectly in order for the sheriff Classroom Subscribers AUSTIN The Observer has received inquiries from several teachers and professors about the possibility of a special student rate for the paper. . We wish to announce that the subscription department will receive subscription orders from members of classes for $1 per four-and-a-halfmonth semester or $2 per full nine month academic year. The subscription department will accomodate special-issue requests as our supply of back Issues permits. “By God I wish that was right, that’s a million-dollar baby!” The bridge has a history, too, but first, the buses. ALBERT MARTIN, now president of the Independent Club that is still in control of Webb’s cal affairs, received his visitors in the sitting room of his gracious old-fashioned two story home just three blocks from downtown Laredo. He is a Mexican gentleman of polish and dignity; he confronts delicate subjects with directness and good humor. He was mayor from 1926 to 1940. In the mid-thirties, he recalled; the city was begging for somebody to take the bus franchise. Three bids were received, but there was one meeting after another, and so on, they all withdrew.” In. 1936, John Morton, a former employee of Central Power and Light who was then re Staff Photo Paul E. Wander A Life on $55 a Month Shepperd Boots Texas NAACP AUSTIN John Ben Shepperd, the outgoing Attorney General who has, in the recent past, sought to deny integrated schools the right to spend state funds and who believes the U.S. Supreme Court rode with “hobnailed boots” across sacred legal traditions in its school integration decree, has now taken legal action in the name of the state to oust from Texas the organization which has worked steadily for integration for many years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In a legal action, Shepperd says Dr. H. Boyd Hall, president of the TexaS NAACP, said the day before Shepperd’s action: “Texas Negroes are entering an era of persecution.” Shepperd, discuss.. ing the case in the Capitol Saturday morning, responded: “I know it’s not true. It was inevitable that they would say that.” The i n t ‘e nsive investigation started, according to Davis Grant, Shepperd’s first assistant attorney general, two or three weeks ago. Agents of the Attorney General and the Texas Department of the NAACP has been engaging in political activities contrary to the laws of the state; failed to pay the franchise tax for which it is legally liable; and solicited, recruited, and coerced students and parents to take steps they otherwise would not have taken, thereby causing racial hatred and community inflammation. Shepperd himself stated that the NAACP’s efforts to enroll Negro students in certain schools “contrary to laws of this state” had tended “to incite racial prejudice, picketing, riots, and other unlawful acts.” Bill Lewis Photo Bedichek, Dobie, and Webb: Silent Honorees They Went to This Writer’s Meeting and Listened to Everybody Else Talk. See Page 6 “Th ‘tee great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau &xas Obsrrurr e will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. Thousands of Texas’s senior citizens might be better off if system of old age assistance. When he reaches a certain age elderly Eskimo quietly says “goodbye” to relatives and friends tundra to go to sleep forever. The Texas system of old age assistance for the average recipient means $41.80 a month; usually enough for bare, temporary survival for a man or woman humanity has almost forgotten. If a needy Texan is really lucky, as long as his health holds out he may find a sympathetic landlady who’ll take him in at a third rate boarding house. John Winters, director of the State Public Welfare Department, says there is no question that ad ditional money is needed for elderly indigent Texans, particulLly for those who require some medical treatment or are unable to care for themselves. If he’s not so lucky and is one of the hundreds who live in a large city, he’ll quite likely end up living in a vermin-infested flophouse hotel where he’s afraid to undress at night because his clothes might be stolen. There, searching for the fleeting comforts available on only a few dollars a week, he’s apt to turn to the jug of cheap wine. As the days drag to weeks, to months, to years, perhaps, the old man or woman will fall ill from Bob Bray malnutrition, pneumonia, or just being old. Then he’ll be taken to a hospital or nursing home, spooned back to better health, and left to get sick againall on a pittance of $20 a month or less from the great State of Texas. Those who live out their years in a nursing home or so-called rest home sometimes receive good treatment, sometimes not. Since the homes are commercial enterprises, the clean, better operated establishments as’ a rule can’t even afford to take patients at maximum $55 pension rates. This frequently leaves the needy oldster to finish life in a substandard An Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper Vol. 48 TEXAS, SEPTEMBER 26, 1956 Forgotten Texans Our Aged Citizens Are in Pov.erty and Filth under-staffed home … heartsick. bitter, often filthy and abused. THE PLIGHT of the aged needy people of Texas is no secret; in fact, old age assistance is so low that in some 25 interviews with persons familiar with the problem, there was not a single one who did not favor higher pensions. i0c per copy No. 23 AUSTIN AND HOUSTON they adopted the Eskimo and juncture in life, the and walks out on the icy