Page 7


Big Thicket overbite March 30, 1973 13 Brooks. When a strong conservative such as Jack Ogg proposes a bilingual bill which is in some ways tougher than that of Mr. Bilingual Legislator, Carlos Truan, it should indicate a change in thinking if not a revelatory awakening to unmet human needs more than a century old. Davidson indicated Ogg had become interested in bilingual education when he discovered it was the numer one issue among his chicano constituents. “Conservatives have a way of taking legislation liberals can’t get through and getting it through just because they’re conservatives,” said Davidson. “I didn’t realize how much prejudice there was in this state until we proposed this bill. We really got the hate mail. It called Mexicans ‘dirty’ and ‘lazy’ and used all the old clichs. It really surprised me.” When even one more person begins to recognize the primitive forces arrayed against the extension of human rights, education and freedom, it should represent a potential advance. The rape of the Big Thicket Former Sen. Ralph Yarborough is continuing his indefatigable struggle to save the Big Thicket, making dozens of speeches all over the state, but he feels the situation is becoming desperate. “The destruction and the ruthlessness to the environment is worse than anything the robber barons ever did at the turn of the century,” Yarborough said. “It is without parallel: the vast out of state interests Time, Life and the Santa Fe Railroad are destroying this great ecological gem of Texas. It is tragic. “This is the area that Edwin Wayteale, the great naturalist, has called ‘this beautiful, vulnerable, unique and irreplaceable, remnant of the American wilderness.’ Time, Life and the Santa Fe are committing the economic butchery of the century. And it is terrible that no meaningful part of the Big Thicket has been saved by a State park or any of the great foundations of Texas. I helped pass the Big Trees park in California, to save the giant redwoods, but they had an organization there that had been fighting for half a century and the state had already created three state parks in that area and private foundations had bought up some of the choicest acreage to preserve it and all that was merged into the national park. Here, those three out-of-state corporations may win the race and destroy the Big Thicket forever.” According to The Houston Post, . Time., Inc., which already has consid erable timber acreage in East Texas, is buying Temple Industries for $153 million in a merger. When completed, the merger would make Time the largest single landowner in East Texas with almost 1,060,000 acres. Time’s pulp producer, Eastex, Inc., has had many unpleasant encounters with pollution control authorities, but it apparently is cutting down on its air and water pollution. Pam Giblin, attorney for the Texas Air Control Board, told the Post, “We’ve been pressuring them on their air pollution problems, and I think they are coming around now. Their management seems much more receptive now, but we still have them under continuing surveillance.” Political Intelligence People who are still able to smell in Houston will be happy to learn that Champion Papers, Inc., has been penalized to the tune of $100,000 for violating the clean air act. It was the largest air pollution judgment in the history of the state and the first industrial odor case to be tried in Texas. Harris County and the state will split the penalty fee. HBG on MUD In an unusual break with his city council, San Antonio Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez calls the council’s 7-1 vote to extend privileges to the Ranch New Town Project an “infamous action.” In his Feb. 23 newsletter, Gonzalez flayed the council for giving consent for the Ranch New Town to set up a Municipal Utility control the MUD won’t even have to live in it. . . . All they have to be is property owners in the designated area,” Gonzalez wrote. “The MUD can do anything. . . . It can levy any tax that it wants to, and it can charge any fee that it wants to. And, if anybody disobeys its rules, it can hire its own private police force, and evidently jail and fine residents of the district, as well as take over their property if they fail to pay up all that’s demanded. There’s not anything that keeps a MUD director from conflict of interest; all he has to do is declare he has a conflict the contract can be his anyway,” Gonzalez said. Former U.S.* Rep. John Dowdy of Athens has won reversal of his 1971 conviction on five counts of conspiracy and accepting a bribe. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Dowdy’s contention that the trial judge had admitted improper evidence, to wit, recorded conversations between Dowdy and the alleged briber, in the government’s case against the congressman. The court did not overturn Dowdy’s conviction on three counts of perjury. ”