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HE HAS WAGED his war against he War on Poverty with unremitting zeal and is determined to carry on. “I’ve spent most of my adult life dealing with the poor,” he said, explaining his opposition. to the program. “Our welfare department is one of the best in the country and we’ve worked to keep -anyone from being hungry in this city. Now the War on Poverty looks good in theory, but I’ll do battle if you come in to exploit the The Texas Observer Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GE 7-4171 poor. Very little of that money ever reaches the poor. At first they said I didn’t understand the program, so I studied and researched it and I’m more horrified and shocked by it than ever. “There are 407 people in the War on Poverty here. That’s shameful and wasteful,” Sterrett said. “It costs $3.5 million to administer. I want to see everybody come up that can, but these people should be trained before you turn over responsibility to them. These people are not with the poor Negroes. and Latin Americans. They’re askin’ for help, they’re scared of these people [in the anti-poverty programs] . It’s real serious. You, just cannot put people on the payroll who are tryin’ to be revolutionary or disruptive. Why 2,500 people have moved out of the projects through fear of these anti-poverty people. “And when the Legal Services people start poppin’ law suits all over!” he continued. “Why, I know the sheriff never intentionally violated anybody’s civil rights. I’ve no opinion of Ed Polk, -but unfortunately there are many like him in this country creating a cloudy position wherever they go. They have to be controlled. You can’t let ’em tear up your local institutions that have been successful. You can’t compromise with ’em. I never compromise with ’em.” And Sterrett went on to tell about how his neighborhood has changed since he first moved out there and how he’s afraid to have his family walk the street at night now. And he really is afraid. You can’ tell. Sterrett’s most successful move against the anti-poverty programs in Dallas came last spring, when he succeeded in getting Gov. Preston Smith to hold up the funds for the program for a few weeks. Sterrett received a good deal of criticism at the time, which still rankles him. “Now I was publicly censured by the officials, and as a general rule, that kills a man politically,” he said. “But I got a petition with 20,000 names on it opposin’ all the militants in the War on Poverty and I get letters and speakin’ invitations. I’ve got a mandate to do somethin’ about this problem.” It is difficult to gauge just how popular Sterrett is in Dallas. There is no question that he has fans, but he can hardly point to his re-election as a mandate since no one ran against him. No one has for years. Both 16 A U. S. Senator Should Know How To Work Sixth Grade Arithmetic The Macedonians are a rude and clownish people that call a spade a spade. Philip of Macedon Well, count me among those clownish Macedonians. It seems to me that a United States senator ought to know to work Sixth Grade arithmetic whether he is discussing the national budget, the price a housewife pays for a can of beans, or Thicket of East Texas. The editors of such respected newspapers as The Texas Observer, The Houston Chronicle, and The Beaumont Enterprise should also know how to work Sixth Grade arithmetic. But apparently none of them does know how. For the past three years Senator Ralph W. Yarborough, Justice William 0. Douglas, Ex-Mayor Dempsie Henley of Liberty, and miscellaneous fantasts from the Sierra Club have been telling us over and over that the Big Thicket once consisted of 3,500,000 acres of standing timber but has now been chopped down to a pitiable remnant of 300,000 acres. just about 3,500,000 acres of standing timber. That timber is standing in just about the same place where it has been standing for the past several thousand years. Of course, from time to time somebody cuts down a tree and some other tree grows back in its place. It is Hardin County that makes the loudest claims to being the Heart of the Big Thicket. But you never could have crowded 3,500,000 acres of Big Thicket into Hardin County, for there are only 572,800 acres of land in the whole county oil wells, rice fields, and hamburger stands included. There are six other counties that also claim from time to time that they, too, are part of the Big Thicket: Jasper, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler. Now, friend, suppose you take a pencil and a piece of paper and turn to Page 138 of the Texas Almanac. Do your own arithmetic. Don’t trust me to do it for you. Don’t trust Ralph Yarborough, or William 0. Douglas, or Dempsie Henley, either. On Page 138 you will find a county-by-county tabulation of the standing timber in the East Texas Pineywoods. I quote you only the figures for the counties in the famous Big Thicket. The figures were furnished by the United States Forest Service COUNTY ACRES IN TIMBER Hardin 501,600 Jasper 541,800 Liberty 453,600 Montgomery 564,300 Polk 577,100 San Jacinto 287,800 Tyler 552,000 TOTAL 3,478,200 Far from having lost 3,200,000 acres \(as computed by those master mathematicians, Ralph Yarborough, William 0. Douglas, remnant of 300,000 acres the Big Thicket seems to be just about the same size as it always was. Or else the United States Forest Service has been grievously misinformed. \(Confidentially, I don’t believe that Ralph Yarborough, William 0. Douglas, and Dempsie Henley know what they are H. Mewhinney Secretary, Sam Bass Garden Club Cleveland, Texas