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Houston School Repairs Lyndon and Labor HOUSTON H. L. Mills, business manager of the Houston Independent School District, has shifted attention from a press probe of financial manipulations on school repair jobs to the question of whether old school buildings in the district are safe or not. At a meeting at which it had been advertised that Mills would defend the practice of piecemeal contracting of repair j obsapparently to evade the requirement of bids on work costing more than $1,000the Houston school board adopted Mills’ suggestion to hire three structural engineers to check into the condition of all two-story structures and especially those built before 1922. Mills did not say, nor did any member of the board, why repair jobs, such as the $116,000 project at Sherman School, were not advertised for bids, but were given out, instead, in the form of a large number of less-than-$1,000 projects. At the same meeting, the board yielded to insistent demands to get pupils out of the termiteweakened Condit School and hold classes in the Bellaire Community Center for the remainder of this term, The Bellaire city council held an emergency meeting the same evening, acting to allow the school district to make the transfer. Acting School Superintendent G. C. Scarborough said, “I hate to make this recommendation \(to the position of giving in to pressure …” But, he said, some parents had been on the verge of hysteria over the danger they believed their children were risking by attending school at Condit. City Manager G. 0. Summers of Bellaire had notified the board that Condit was unsafe after conditions had been called to his at SAVE NOW for The Future! Open Your Account at Alice Savings 81 Loan Association CURRENT DIVIDEND RATE 3’/2% PER ANNUM bisnred by an Agency of Ike Federal Gov’t DOD MULLEN, Vioe President Mahn Dandling Alioe, Tem tention by the fire inspector and Summers then had the Bellaire building inspector look over the school. The building inspector advised Mills that conditions were bad, but Mills employed a consulting engineer who reported to Mills that the building was safe. Bellaire employed George West, a civil engineer, to look over the school, and West told Summerb that the building would need so much work on it to put it into safe condition that it would be cheaper to replace it. Sherman school was damaged by fire in December and repairs were made by the school district’s maintenance department forces plus some outside carpenters and painters, according to a report by Mills to the board. Electrical work was done by the Aldis. Electric Co., which turned in 22 bills, each for less than $1,000, and received a total of $18,823.15 split up into seven checks and approved by the board without question on Mills’ recommendation. Plumbing work was done by Barber, Inc., which sent in nine bills, each for less than $1,000 and was paid a total of $8,329.38 in four checks. Plastering was contracted by John Marasek, who was identified as a bricklayer on the school district’s maintenance department’s extra payroll. Marasek sent in his bills in his father’s name, James OHouston Negro parents were urged to keep their children home from special classes set up by the Houston School Board which the board said would show Negro teachers new teaching ing came from the Harris Council of Organizations; the plan, said the council, is “insulting.” Myles J. Ambrose, chief of the U. S. Treasury law enforcement division, in Dallas, told criminal groups exist in the Southwest.” Robert L. Horn of Houston, who used to be a disk jockey, was arrested on charges of federal income tax evasion. A federal attorney said Horn had been operating “the payola”taking cash payments from pushers of records to give their records a build up. The federals charge Horn concealed $22,860 in this kind of income and evaded $9,436 in taxes. A Negro pastor, the Rev. Caesar Clark of Dallas, said he’d seek a post on the Dallas School Board on a write-in campaign. Ex-Gov. Allan Shivers, now in the pipeline business, said in Dallas the U. S. Supreme Court has invaded the field of legislation. Shivers was speaking of court decisions empowering the Marasek, and checks were made out to his father, totalling $29,775. All of Marasek’s bills were for amounts of less than $1,000. Under state law, projects costing more than $1,000 must be advertised and let on bids. A city of Houston public works department engineer inspected Sherman school and found it unsafe and in need of immediate repairs. Charles Miller reported to the chief of the public works department that joists supporting classrooms had drifted out of position, that the north wall of the school was slipping outward. Two rooms on the second floor were then locked after Miller’s report was relayed by his chief to Mills. The dangerous conditions were first reported by a workman to the Houston Post, which then employed an engineer to inspect the building along with Miller. On April 3, at Eliot Elementary School, a large section of the ceiling fell in one of the classrooms, less than an hour before pupils were due to arrive. The falling ceiling crushed a bookcase and two desk-chairs. The ceiling and walls had been patched three times in the last five years by Mills’ maintenance department people. Part of the blame for the accident was laid to the fact that fluorescent light fixtures had been attached mainly to plaster laths in the ceiling instead of to ceiling joists. AL HEIKEN Federal Power Commission to regulate certain industriesincluding pipelines carrying oil and gas. OJ. Ed Conally of Abilene and the state Democratic executive committee told Washington reporters the DOT will be trounced in the precinct convention fights upcoming. Conally said Byron Skelton, Texas national committeeman, was working with “us who are the duly elected ofParty.” U. S. Defense Sec’y. Robert Anderson, speaking at Austin, said the U. S. ought to help backward countries without expecting these countries to embrace the American way of life in toto. Texas A&M System director turned down an appeal by Ross Strader, recently fired as director of student publications, protesting his discharge. Strader said he was fired because he would not censor the student newspaper. The fifth U. S. Circuit Court of Appealsoverturning a Dallas federal district court decisionsaid Publisher Houston Harte of the Harte-Hanks newspaper chain must turn over to the federal government certain records concerning thr , purchase of the Greenville daily by the chain. Harte said he’d appeal. Victor Reisel, the labor col umnist, reports that Sen. Lyndon Johnson, Sen. John Kennedy both of whom have been mentioned as Democratic presidential nominee possibilities together with Al Hayes, head of the AFLCIO ethical practices committee held a Washington meeting and conferred by phone with AFLCIO Pres. George Meany. Johnson emerged from the conference, said Reisel, to turn on the heat Knowland’s proposals” for certain union reforms were “anti-labor.” Reisel’s conclusion: “It appears certain … that there will be no new labor laws this year.” Political Intellicience Senate Candidate William Blakley is not a reactionary, but a “conservative concervatice.” Yarborough is the “liberal-labor candidate.” So editorialized the Dallas News after the Yarborough reelection announcement. The editorial admitted Yarborough will attract some conservatives because fo his “stand for essential oil interests on import restriction and depletion allowance.” The Houston Post, in an edi torial titled “Where Can State Find Tax Money To Meet ‘Major Fiscal Crisis’?”, said: “The obvious answer \(if oil and gas taxes are not increased, and gas and cigarette sales taxes do not income levy.” 7 Freedom In Action will prey miere its Hollywood-made movie on how to organize precincts at Houston’s Music Hall May 15. %/ The Texas Joint Railway Labor Legislative Board is sued the first edition of a news letter along with a questionnaire headed with these instructions: ‘Auto Hire’ To the Editor: Why doesn’t somebody start a “You Auto Hire Now” drive among all employers, mainly new and used car dealers and automobile manufacturers. All those employers with five or more people working for them, put one more person on the payroll for every five people you already have working for you. For some reason, I just can’t seem to work up any real sincere sympathy for any drive to get poor people to spend their hard-earned savings during a depression, even if it is supposed to put “us” back on the road to prosperity. I think a “You Auto Hire Now” drive would accomplish what a “You Auto Buy “Where there is opposition, please contact each candidate for the state Senate or state House … Ask these questions and attempt to obtain an answer to each question …” Among the questions: “Would you support any legislation attempting to further restrict labor organizations in Texas? JIt’s plain, said the Dallas News, Pres. Eisenhower is a good man who “obviously … does not know himself where he stands” on the Tidelands question. The editorial ran under this headline: “Be Fair To Ike but Save Tidelands.” 7 The Texas. Businessman bey moans the paucity of issues it expects to be raised in the upcoming major political contests: “Ralph Yarborough aims to run … against Austin to hold a Washington job. Austin \(i. e., run against Washington to hold its Austin job. This makes sense.” THE JOBLESS AUSTIN As of April 1, said the Texas employment Commission this week, a total of 200,400 Texans were out of workan increase of 67,00 over the TEC total for March 1. This figure does not include the approximate 500 men to be idled by the planned shutdown of an open-hearth steelmaking operation at Lone Star Steel Co., Lone Starand similar layoffs since the first of the current month. TEC said last week saw unemployment compensation claims drop slightly after steadily rising for three weeks. At least part of the drop, however, TEC said, was the result of the shutdown of TEC local offices on San Jacinto Day. Now” drive is supposed to accomplish, but it would start a little lower down on the economic scale; perhaps it would have a larger multiplier factor. WALTER W. JACOBSON 6115 Ave I, Galveston. Big Money “Here is Mr. E. B. Germany again, who talked recently of the veto of the natural gas bill by Eisenhower hurting and making it lay off 1500 men. According to his quoted figures in the Star-Telegram of March 13, 1958Lone Star Steel’s net income amounted to $11,329,508 in 1957. Not bad at all.”G. A. BELKNAP, 2512 Willing Ave., Fort Worth 10. The Week in Texas When You Think of Us, Please Think of Insurance … HALL’S WIGINTON HALL Insurance Agency Insurance Agency DICKINSON, TEXAS ALVIN, TEXAS LEAGUE CITY Insurance Agency LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS … And When You Think of Insurance, Please Think of Us THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 May 2, 1958