Break up the TRA It is time for the Texas Legislature to reconstitute the Trinity River Authority. On March 13 the people of the Trinity Basin clearly told the TRA that they would not accept degradation of the river to the status of barge canal. But with the arrogance of petty tyrants and the petulance of spoiled children, spokesmen for the TRA and its subsidiary propaganda threatening us with floods and pollution as retribution for our failure to accept their scheme for commercializing the river. In our supposedly democratic society, organs of government are created to do the will of the people. If the TRA cannot or will not respond to that will by working to achieve what the people have so clearly shown that they want and need flood control, pollution abatement, ecological balance along the Trinity then the people must demand their replacement. The Texas Legislature can abolish the TRA and replace it with a board elected by the people. If the appointed members of the present TRA insist on “throwing the baby out with the bath water,” then the people should demand that their legislators throw out the TRA. Ted S. Johnston, 2505 White Oak Lane, Arlington, Tex. 76012. 24 The Texas Observer .-t. “Zi IDialogue Illegal tax Texas A&I University has a very interesting piactice, which is clearly illegal and may be equally common at other educational institutions throughout the state. Students are compelled to pay fees for such non-educational trivia as the Lantana Queen Coronation, the El Rancho Yearbook, etc. Then, at the end of the fiscal year, all unexpended monies are not refunded to the students, but transferred to the central fund. This series of events amounts to taking money from a citizen by compulsion, holding that money for a time, and then putting that money in the State Treasury. It is an illegal tax, levied without the specific authorization of the State Legislature, and as such it violates state laws. Furthermore, the amount of the transfers is so large in the thousands of dollars that the transactions are felony violations. “Actions generally lawful may become unlawful when done to accomplish an unlawful end.” These transactions, however legal they may individually be, must be seen in their totality to be recognized for what they are. This is one time when the whole is greater .than the sum of its parts, for a bunch of legal transactions, when added up, are obviously an illegal act of taxation. George J. Gessner, D.D., 728 West Ave. A, Kingsville, Tex. 78363. Too Texian Sorry the answer is no, [I will not re-subscribe] but you’re too Texas for me. I found the Observer a fine effort and it inclines me to believe and I’m “an effete Eastern snob” that there is probably as large a minority of decent folk in Texas as in New Jersey, still a minority. The late national election left me with the feeling that nothing short of a catastrophe if that will bring a change of opinion to the voting majority. \(I voted but apparently 45% of the eligible were too The press is now clainorous about the few hundred POW’s the Christmas bombing salvaged. No one mentions the 55,000 dead and 300,000 wounded Americans to say nothing of land and population of Vietnam. Expendables, I suppose? Good luck to you where you are with what you have in these days of infamy and corruption. Gibson Fairman, 22 Orchard Street, Elizabeth, N.J. Why, why why? I would like to thank and commend John Rohde for his editorial letter of the Feb. 2, 1973, issue. Thank you, sir, for voicing the complaint that I, as a student, also share. From my point of view, I fail to see the sense and reason behind having to make up an icy day, but then wasting entire days at assemblies designed to prove how fast a student can drink a quart of root beer. And then, may I add, be sick all over the president of the student body. This happened recently at the high school which I attend. Ask yourself, parents, legislators, and fellow students, why do I have to put up with this to get 180 days of education? Layne Martin, 1503 Montclair, Arlington, Tex. 76015. True alarm I would like to report a rape. The crime occurred in South Austin, southwest of the intersection of IH35 and Riverside Drive. The time of the debauchery was sometime between the morning of Saturday, Jan. 6 and the following Sunday evening. The victim was a previously virtuous lady who had graced Austin with her beauty for years. . Her name is Nature, and her attacker is still on the prowl. He moves quietly, hungrily in search of other maidens to deflower. He has moved through our streets and now is seen in our neighborhoods. Wherever he goes he leaves evidence of his wanton power. He is armed with bulldozers and chain saws and he strikes almost without warning suddenly and decisively. The virginity of our lands is being defiled by his brute force. This victim is dead. But some of her sisters still live next door and along our creeks and some of our streets. Perhaps if this call for aid is heeded, the criminal can be stopped before more of our virgins are attacked. He will be difficult to apprehend. He wears many disguises and has many aliases. He speaks of progress and profit. He hides the knife he uses for disembowelment cleverly beneath the folds of sharkskinn and tweed. Like Jack the Ripper he attends our social functions and puts up a front of respectibility. He preys on public opinion by disguising his true intentions, sometimes seducing everyone including himself with his eloquence. Girard Kinney, Jr., 105 E. Third St., Austin, Tex.
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