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The perils of the SA Expressway During the last exciting chapter of the North Expressway Saga \(Obs., upped the highway folks. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had issued a ruling halting, at least for a time, construction on the six-lane, high speed, limited access road. Now, with the help of Texas’ two senators, the road builders have won a round. Working together in nonpartisan cooperation, Sens. Lloyd Bentsen and John Tower pushed through the Senate Committee on Public Works an amendment to the 1972 federal highway act that would allow the state to complete the highway on its own. \(The Fifth Court, you’ll remember, ruled last year that the expressway was irrevocably a state-federal project and that the state could not build If the Bentsen-Tower amendment clears both houses of Congress, the Texas Highway Department will repay the federal treasury for what it has spent on the highway to date. Then, the concrete magnates will be able to resume work on the Expressway that would consume more than 200 acres of parklands including lots of nature trails, the San Antonio Zoo, the Sunken Garden Theatre, the botanical garden, a girl scout day camp, a bird sanctuary and two universities. Various court hassles have blocked construction of the highway for a decade. No doubt there will be more litigation. In a recent newsletter, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club said the amendment “would allow highway builders to bulldoze and pour concrete where they please without regard to ‘prudent and feasible alternatives’ or to environmental impact considerations now required by federal laws. The effect of the amendment would be to allow state highway builders to render useless federal environmental protection statutes at will, and without loss of federal funds.” “Who, us? ” the treasurer and comp troller cried in unison when the Houston Chronicle accused them of violating the state nepotism law. “I have the right to hire anyone. I could hire the governor’s son if I want to,” Treasurer Jesse James said in a good imitation of righteous indignation. Last year James hired Comptroller Robert S. Calvert’s son-in-law to fill a vacancy in the escheat division that occurred when he fired the father-in-law of Rep. Maurice Angly, his Republican opponent. James’ brothers, Menora James, has been on Calvert’s payroll since 1951. He is a $630 a month accounting clerk in the motor fuel division. James contends the only way he could The Texas Observer Political Intelligence Photo by George Mr. Unity: Bill Hobby violate the law is by hiring his own relatives. Atty. Gen. Crawford Martin has not ruled on this question. Martin himself employs the wife of Rep. Charles Finnell and the brother of Rep. Raul Longoria. Texian unity Bill Hobby’s $100-a-plate dinner was a scene of Texian unity the likes of which must seem an impossible dream for George McGovern. All the Democratic office-holding honchos were there, with the exception of Gov. Preston Smith. So was the lobby, which, of course, paid the lion’s share of the costs of the dinner. Table sponsors \($1,000 for eight chairs and four picnic baskets of chicken, relishes, cherry tomatoes full of cream cheese and Searcy and Fentress Bracewell \(Houston Brown Croaker & Jaworski \(big Houston law Houston presumably LBJ’s Jr. \(Houston lawyer who represents El Paso Scurlock There were 102 table sponsors listed in the program, adding up to a clean $102,000. Hobby aides said the dinner probably netted more than the original goal of $150,000. Diners spanned the ideological spectrum from Ed Clark, the “Johnson Democrat” who is heading John Tower’s reelection effort, to Roy Evans, Texas AFL-CIO president, who is trying to talk George Meany into letting local labor unions endorse George McGovern. Will Davis, a former state Democratic chairman, turned down an invitation from John Connally to join the Democrats for Nixon. Davis is also being courted by the McGovern forces. He hasn’t said no to them, but he’s playing coy. Like other Briscoe Democrats, he is trying to keep a very low profile when it comes to national politics. The national McGovern organization has hired a staff of four to promote concerts in Texas. Local as well as nationally known entertainers have volunteered their services. The goal is to raise $80,000 for the campaign and to register lots and lots of young voters. Bizarre. Bizarre. A Sunday story by Chase Untermeyer of the Houston Chronicle described a mysterious school in the piney woods near the Big Thicket. Three teenage girls who ran away from the school told the Liberty County sheriff how students who misbehaved at Artesia Hall were put in an outdoor wire cage or were beaten by other students. The girls’ story was cut short when the director of the school, Joseph D. Farrar, PhD, arrived, clapped the girls in handcuffs and hauled them back into the woods. The sheriff told the Chronicle the good doctor offered him a reward of $75, explaining he pays $25 a head for these runaway kids.” Farrar denies he did any such thing. The doctor says he is running a school for “defiant, deceptive and impulsive” teenagers away from the urban ills of rebellion, drugs and sexual adventurism. The children live and study in air conditioned trailers. Students say that one mode of punishment at Artesia Hall is the “GI bath.” A discipline case allegedly is put in a garbage can filled with ice and water and is scrubbed with a stiff brush. Farrar denies it. Farrar’s PhD comes from the unaccredited Universidad Interamericana in Saltillo, Mexico. His BA is from Howard Payne University in Brownsville. The courses he took for his MA in educational psychology at the University of Missouri have been questioned by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Since he declined to take an examination, the board rejected his application for a psychologist’s license. But the Board of Public Welfare, after commissioning numerous investigations Goddard