Introducing a Board HOUSTON Sputnk the Second sailed over Houston at 17,000 miles an hour about 30 minutes before the Houston board of education met Monday of this week to consider among other things what was to be done to help rear a generation of satellite masters. Tracking Sputnik, the proletariat state’s dog-bearing rocket-in-orbit, as it passed directly over the city, were the members of Lamar High School’s Astronomy Club. Lamar High School is the secondary institution of learning whose chorus recently welcomed segregationist Gov. Marvin Griffin of Georgia but was not allowed to sing at a function where some Negroes were to be in the audience. Lamar is the high school for River Oaks, home of many of Houston’s wealthy non-proletarians, and other plush areas. The young astronomers made their observations at the C. B. Ames home in Tanglewood, sometimes referred to as the new or Iatter-day River Oaks. For students of Lamar, there are few if any transportation problems. For students of other high schools and junior high schools there are so many such vexing transportation problems that more than 100 parents from the middle class areas of the city were on hand to ask the school board for relief. One section, Mason Park, got it; the others did not, and there were hard, hot words from the unappeased maws and paws. Mrs. Frank Dyer, chairman of the board, whammed down the gavel around 11 p.m. after a warm and confusing evening under the KUHT-TV lights, cutting short the formal protests but blasting off the pentup resentment. “Sister, you just lost another vote,” said one of the bourgeoise, putting on her hat and stamping out of the room. IT HAD BEEN a mixed-up night for Mrs. Dyer. Dr. Henry Peterson, old stand-by of the conservative majority of the school boardwhich has been solicitous for the welfare of Lamar and River Oaks patrons had been saying such things as: “Ability doesn’t always reside on the right side of the tracksit is also found on the left.” Mrs. Earl Maughmer, member of the rightist Minute Women’s organization and parliamentarian and secretary of the board, looked distressed at this. Dr. Peterson was referring to what he called “ability grouping.” This was schoolman talk meaning putting the bright kids in a class, the notso-bright in a class, and the dumb ones in a class for best results, regardless of how much money or how many oil wells their dads might control. He was for ability grouping, Dr. Peterson made it clear, because these days \(with Sputnik whirling around up there about 530 or so milesdirectly public was the democratic thing to do. Mrs. A. S. Vandervoort, member of the liberal minority of the school board, reminded Dr. Peterson that it was he, in 1941 and again in 1955, who had opposed ability grouping. Dr. Peterson cleared his throat. “In 1941,” he said, “there was some stew and fervor about it. People thought it was a very undemocratic thing. Now one of the most democratic things we can do is to save this country.” The board approved a recommendation of Acting .Superintendent G. C. Scarborough to fill some vacancies with white supervisors, where there had been Negro supervisors before. Dr. W. W. Kemmerer, the other liberal member of the minority, protested. This, he said would hardly upgrade instruction in Negro schools. “What will be the next step?” he asked. “Will we replace the Negro principals and then the Negro teachers? Where will it stop?” Supt. Scarborough denied that Negro principals and teachers would lose their jobs, to be replaced by whites. JAMES DELMAR, the third conservative school board member, and Dr. Peterson tangled that night, too, over whether Harold Wigren, director of audio visual instruction, was to be allowed to spend a year with the National Education Association. Delmar, of Hughes Tool Co. and Grand Prize Beer, objected that Wigren ‘had been with Ford Foundation and now he wanted to go off again, instead of staying and doing the job he was hired to do. Dr. Peterson dissented. Disagreeing with Delmar, who had said he didn’t want Wigren coming back imbued with NEA ideas, Dr. Peterson said he didn’t think Wigren would be “brainwashed” and “it was a great honor for Houston, Texas.” Dr. Peterson, Dr. Kemmerer, and Mrs. Vandervoort carried the issue. AL HIEKEN Ralph Talks to Oilmen STATE CLOSES LAND DEALERS he had been elected governor of Rhode Island finally at 63. It was his intention, he told the oil group, to be helpful. He would study the legislation, such as Senate Bill 11, which Thanhouser had said in his speech “is far more dangerous to oil and a host of other industries than any other single piece of pending legislation … its vague language tends to conceal its sinister purpose … to abolish price competition WASHINGTON Two Texas Tech directors, J. Evetts Haley of Canyon and Tom Linebery of Kermit, occupied the witness stand at a Federal Communications Commission hearing here a whole day opposing their own Texas Tech’s request for an educational television channel. Millard French, the FCC examiner, asked them if they had presented their arguments to their seven colleagues on the Tech board of directors and lost out when the board voted. They acknowledged this was the case. Haley is head of the “For America” organization in Texas; he ran for governor in 1956, finishing fourth, with five percent of the votes, in a field of six. Linebery is a rancher. Both played key parts in the Tech directors’ dismissal of three Texas Tech professors last year. Tech’s TV lawyer, Harold Mott, told the through American business and industry.” Thanhouser also attacked H. R. 426, introduced last year by Rep. James Roosevelt, “for the ostensible purpose of improving the lot of retail gasoline dealers.” He said the bill would make it a crime for any producing or refining oil company to sell petroleum products at retail or to own any gasoline service stations. But, added Thanhouser, “I am glad to report that this … bill … does FCC here Linebery is a “rebel” member of the board; Linebery himself said he disagrees with the board majority on hotly disputed subjects “about 90 percent of the time, or maybe more.” Haley told the FCC examiner he approved a resolution circulated by For America calling for the impeachment of the U.S. Supreme Court. Haley and Linebery told the FCC that Lubbock’s two commercial stations, KDUB-TV and KCBD-TV, have agreed, on a 5050 basis, to finance the cost of getting Tech a permit for channel 5 in order to keep the channel from going to a commercial competitor. Haley and Linebery have opposed Tech’s educational TV plans all along. Tech plans to offer college courses over TV. Tech is the only applicant for channel 5. The final FCC decision is pending. not now appear likely to get through the House. So Senator Yarborough, the chances are you won’t have the pleasure of voting against it.” `Influence’ Yarborough said he had that day introduced as co-sponsor with Senator McClellan of Arkansas and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota a bill to set up a $580 million revolving fund to provide money for loans to educate potential engineers and scientists who otherwise would be unable to attend college. He asked the oil men to give him their help “with the influence you have over communications and publicity” in getting approval for this legislation to help the farmer, the workers, and pensioners. He wound up by telling them that he would make every effort to be of service to the 9,000,000 who make up the population of Texas and quoted his liberal colleague, Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, as having said: “if cheese was pumped through a pipeline, I’d be for a pipeline.” “Not a bad idea,” murmured one of the oilmen. Afterwards Yarborough met informally, in a smaller room, with industry leaders for a social hour. Among those who arranged the forum were J. B. Parten, Bill Gray, and a few other of the more liberal-minded oilmen who backed Yarborough for governor and senator, as well as some who did not. Host for the social was David Searles of Davis, Elkins, Weems & Searles, of Houston. AUSTIN Last Sept. 13 the Observer alone among Texas papersreported the strange doings of the Lake Alaska Country Club development near Alvin, Tex. The Better Business Bureau of Houston had noted that land transactions were being effected by persons without state real estate licenses, but the state had refused to take an interest, reported this newspaper; the bureau had also received more than a hundred complaints, most of them to the effect that the developers had “totally failed to live up to advertising and sales representations concerning improvement of the land.” Shortly thereafter state investigations started. Maco Stewart, an assistant attorney general, worked on the case in Will Wilson’s office. A complaint was lodged about the unlicensed transactions; Wilson ruled the Lake Alaska developers had to be licensed. Monday the Attorney General filed suit against Lake Alaska, Inc., and a similar development firm which was dealing in properties at the tip of Galveston Island, Galveston Gulf Properties, Inc. Both suits named among the defendants Joseph Z., Herbert I., and Alvan R. Corkin; both were basically similar in nature. Dist. Judge Jack Roberts appointed W. B. Dazey, a Texas City attorney, temporary receiver for the firms, granted temporary restraining orders against them, and set Feb. 6 as the date for a hearing on temporary injunctions. The Corkins are now in Brookline, Mass. In the Lake Alaska petition, the state charges that the defendants, during calendar 1954, 1955, and 1956, received more than $700,000 from the sales of lots to the public, but that the land “is more highly encumbered than at any time before due to transfers of assets and the creation of in AUSTIN General Preston A. Weatherred, Dallas anti union lawyer-lobbyist and “pundit has penned another of his letters to “interested persons.” The latest missive, of which the Observer has acquired a copy, is dated Jan. 16 and is titled : “1958 Political Issues.” The letter calls on the state’s conservatives to close ranks against the Democrats of Texas, which, said Weatherred, “is working with fanatic devotion to the end that they will capture sufficient of the precinct and county democratic conventions this year to control the state convention.” Should the DOT be successful, he said, this will follow: name the executive committee that in turn will pass upon the credentials for the 1960 convention, which will name delegates to the national convention, which in turn will select the democratic nominee for the presidency. How would you like a Walter Reuther delegation from Texas in 1960? Well, that exactly could be the result of the organizational effort to which the DOT is presently devoting its energies and its money.” DOT, should it gain what Weatherred sees as its objectives, would also, he said, wipe from the Texas statute books most labor laws. He said: “Then would come repeal of the Texas right-to-work law, along with other provisions that make up what is probably the soundest and fairest set of labor relations laws of any of the states. No one who has his American ideals on straight can find himself objecting to the statutory provisions that control labor-management relations in Texas … Not only this, but should the day ever come when the DOT’s or similar liberal labor elements take over, Texas will cease to be a haven of individual enterprise and individual liberty.” There is leadership a-plenty for moderate-conservatives, Weatherred believes: “This fact is driven home by the very naming of our topmost political figures Senator Lyndon Johnson, Governor Price Daniel, Speaker Sam Rayburn, Lieutenant Governor Ben Ramsey and former Governor Allan Shivers.” A NOTE \(The series on Mexicans in Gringoland will be resumed next THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 Jan. 31, 1958 Two Tech Directors Oppose Tech’s TV Bid Before FCC debtedness” by Lake Alaska, Inc., in violation of the law. Large blocks of lots were conveyed from the defendant company to John Miller “without consideration,” charged the state. The Observer last September called attention to John Miller’s suit against the Corkins claiming sales commissions of more than $50,000. Furthermore, charges the state, Lake Alaska has issued a deed of trust to secure a note of $150,000 to Melvin Newman, “which obligation is fraudulent” in that it was “for the personal use and benefit” of the Corkins. The state also alleges Lake Alaska dealt in properties “without a real estate broker’s license” as required by law; ran a private social and athletic business, exceeding its legal powers; and did business as a water company, again exceeding its legal powers, in asserting the exclusive right to collect a monthly charge for water to its buyers and to assess the buyers a $150 charge for the installation of water facilities on their property. The state also charges the defendants of Lake Alaska, Inc., with trying to dispose of the assets of Lake Alaska wrongfully and with dealing in lands more than two miles from any city, town, or village, contrary to Texas corporation law. The Observer story last year noted that some complainants had tried to sell their equity in the Lake Alaska lots, but found clauses in their contracts that they could not put up “signs.” When they put up for sale signs, a representative of the developer would come along and tear them down. Others said the developer would not give them necessary papers to transfer their ownership. The “country club” facilities, for which buyers paid $48 a month, were run down, said Louis Joeris of Houston, one of the buyers. Weatherred Warns Conservatives Again
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