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FDA PRESS 901 W 24th St Austin Multi copy service. Call 477-3641 resignation “with a heavy heart and sincere and genuine regret.” Ratliff is a 21-year veteran of the Legislature. He will be remembered as the senator who never uttered a word but who served, nonetheless, as a litmus test of the corporate climate. Members of the. press could accurately gauge the business lobby’s position on any particular bill by watching which way Ratliff voted. The sales tax “is not as regressive as people would have you believe,” Wayne Connally kept insisting during his campaign for the lieutenant governorship. He may be taking lessons from Brother John, who insists in Washington that the proposed substitute for local property taxes. Listing a little D on’t-say-we-didn’t-tell-you-so Department: On April 18 a U.S. Coast Guard official declared that “there is absolutely no cause for concern about the stability” of the Texas Clipper, the laboratory ship and dormitory of the state-funded Texas Maritime Academy. Allegations concerning the seaworthiness of both the ship and its officers recently have surfaced in the Observer and other Texas periodicals. On April 21, while the Clipper was docked in shallow water near Galveston, a hole about three inches in diameter developed in a low pressure cold water pipe in the engine room. Water started gushing into the room at about 580 gallons per minute, and three to four feet of water flooded the engine room up to the floor plate. It was not a drastic mechanical failure, and the water was pumped out within a matter of hours. Dean W. H. Clayton, suspecting sabotage, called in the FBI and even sent two aides in hot pursuit of one student who had been sighted leaving the dock on his motorcycle shortly after the leak was discovered. Ship engineers, however, believe the pipe just burst from old age. At last report, the Texas Clipper had settled into the mud and was listing at a 5 degree angle against its dock on Pelican Island. Concerning effort to preserve part of what’s left of the Big Thicket as a national park, U.S. Rep. Bob Eckhardt of Houston says, “I think now we’re sort of over the hump.” The Texas Congressional 6 The Texas Observer delegation has agreed to support a park of 100,000 acres. \(Conservationists have been says a subcommittee of the House Interior Committee tentatively has scheduled a field hearing on the Thicket June 8 to 11. Life magazine finally came out with its article on a search in the Thicket for the possibly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker April 7. Last year in the Observer of the Big Thicket Association, speculated that the article might never see print because of a conflict between “Time Inc.’s editorial non-conscience and its corporate self-interest.” The lengthy piece devotes one paragraph to the fate of the Big Thicket. Author Don Moser writes, “Once the Big Thicket was a sprawl of maybe three and a half million acres of woodland and swamp dark, wild, a tangle of vine and shrub. … But for a hundred years now the Thicket has been logged over, drilled over, grazed over and hunted over. Most of the uplands are now pine plantations, and the ranks of young pulpwood trees march steadily toward the river bottoms.” In a footnote to the paragraph, a Life editor explains, “Eastex Incorporated, a pulp and paper subsidiary of [Life’s publisher] Time, Inc., is a major landholder in the Thicket area. Since 1957 Eastex has been actively engaged in a long-term program of reforestation.” The reforestation, of course, as the Life article points out, consists of rows and rows of slash pine where hardwoodsoaks, magnolias, beech trees and hickoriesused to flourish. Perot close to AG In response to the Observer’s Ross Pearlstine of the Wall Street Journal writes that Perot not only is close to Richard Nixon but also to Attorney General John Mitchell. The Dallas computer magnate and the attorney general worked together on Nixon’s 1968 campaign. According to Pearlstine \(Journal, Dec. 31, Perot’s Electronic Data Systems Corp. worked on the Nixon campaign while still on the EDS payroll. Perot has used Nixon’s and Mitchell’s former law firm in New York for personal legal matters. Gordon McLendon is selling two California radio stations. to William F. Buckley, Jr., and the liberals on the Federal Communications Commission are none to happy about the transaction. Starr KALB, Inc. \(which owns Houston Oakland and KABL-FM of San Francisco from McLendon’s Pacific Corp. for $10.7 million. FCC Commissioners Robert T. Bartley and Nicholas Johnson issued the following joint statement: “I cannot find that the public interest will be served by assignment of these stations to a multiple owner [Buckley’s Starr] which operates nine broadcast stations spread over Kansas, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.” Roberto Vela Ortiz, a 17-year-old Weslaco High School student, went to class March 10 wearing an American flag, embroidered with a “peace” symbol, on the back of his overalls. Now his under a Hidalgo County Grand Jury indictment for having unlawfully defiled, defied, trampled upon and cast contempt upon a Yewnited States flag upon which was “drawn or painted” a symbol “alleged to represent peace, against the peace and dignity of the state.” Attorney David Hall of the Rio Grande Valley Civil Liberties Union says he is not sure how one represents peace against the peace of the state, but he is checking on it. Ortiz could do 2 to 30. New holding company The First National Bank in Dallas and the Houston Citizens Bank and Trust Co. have agreed to join forces and become a bank holding company. If the deal is approved by the directors and shareholders of each institution and by regulatory authorities, the new company will become one of the largest holding companies in the Southwest. Plans were announced to seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Members of the Texas Good Roads Association, the highway lobby, recently visited Washington to urge Texas congressmen to vote against Transportation Secretary Volpe’s proposal to divert a billion dollars from the highway trust fund next year to help metropolitan areas finance urban mass transit projects. Texas now has 68,000 miles of highways and 178,000 miles of county roads and city streets. Three Texas corporations, Tenneco, General Dynamics and Ling Temco Vought, are among the top ten firms receiving more than $10.3 billion in defense contracts during 1971. Tenneco was merely 27th in defense contracts in 1970, but it moved up to number six last year, mainly because of its acquisition of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. in Virginia, where two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are being built. “In the case of heroin, it’s the drug that ruins a person’s life. In the case of marijuana, it’s the law, not the drug, that does the ruining.” Houston Post Executive Editor Bill Hobby.