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-MIMMIMOMPRIMPIMInpww: Reporting `unexcusable’ With reference to the above bill [ SB 251] , I am disappointed in your reporting of House floor action on this bill in the Observer of April 13, 1973. Either your reporter was not present on the House floor when the bill was being considered or he did not read the House Journal because I specifically opposed Heatly’s bill on the back mike, and specifically told Mr. Heatly that I had opposed the bill since the time we heard it in the Environmental Affairs Committee. Furthermore, I offered an amendment to the bill which would have increased the fine for violations under the act up to $1,000.00 and six months in jail. Even though the bill did pass overwhelmingly you could have at least mentioned the minority who strongly opposed the bill. I read the Observer regularly and have found errors in your reporting. However, your reporting of House floor action on this bill is unexcusable. Rep. Woody Denson, House of Representatives, Austin, Tex. John Ferguson was present on the House floor during consideration of SB 251. His notes reflect Rep. Denson’s offering the 16 The Texas Observer IDialogue penalties amendment; they also reflect that Denson stated his general opposition to the bill. They do not contain any indication that Denson raised the questions mentioned in the Observer. According to Ferguson’s notes, Denson said he opposed the bill “on environmental grounds.” Ferguson’s intention was not to belittle the seriousness or the steadfastness of Denson’s opposition: it was to illustrate that the House as a whole did not confront certain obvious questions about the bill, regardless of the votes of individual members. Ed. Blithe irresponsibility Helen Burdick, winner of a Headliner Award from the women’s section of the Wichita Falls Times, and I were appalled to read the irresponsible conclusions drawn by your reporter, Molly Ivins, in her piece in the April 13 issue of the Observer about the Headliner Awards. Every person on this “non-major” paper was thrilled and delighted that Helen won the award. Every editor came to her personally to congratulate her, and every editor shared in a surprise gift party in her honor. We were proud of her then, as we are now, and your reporter certainly made a serious error in blithely stating and inferring that she was not appreciated. It was a shock to Helen to read the article which so misrepresented her feelings and the feelings of her co-workers. We resent the story very much and want you to know we consider it extremely poor taste and poor journalism. We would like to have Miss Ivins’ statements clarified not only for Helen and for us, but for other readers. It isn’t fair to make such bald statements for the truth, when nothing could be farther from the truth. We will be looking for a published explanation and retraction. Annie Lee Williams, Woman’s Editor, Wichita Falls Times, Wichita Falls, Tex. RR philosophy The Texas Observer provides interesting and provocative journalism to all persons interested in government in this state. I happen to be one of your admirers for the excellence of your journalism even though the expressions contained in your publication do not consistently meet my philosophical approbations. It is quite natural for you to criticize a railroad point of view without regard to its merit. Recently, a rather slanted viewpoint on grade crossing protection costs was expressed by you; and without detailing a lengthy answer in consonance with the railroad philosophy on this subject, I simply invite your attention to a recent Department of Transportation report made on this subject. This report formed the basis for the federal government’s change in its policy with respect to the allocation of costs for grade crossing protection to a payment by the government of 100% of signal costs at these dangerous intersections. Any objective study by any nonpartisan group has consistently come to the firm decision that the public is the only beneficiary of the expenditure of signalization costs at a railroad-highway grade intersection. The railroad does not benefit; only the traveling public does so. Walter Caven, General Counsel, Texas Railroad Association, 212 Vaughn Bldg., Austin, Tex. 78767 ‘. No renewal No. 1 Would you all please buy this book [enclosed, a Wall Street Journal review of a book it calls “a solid little case for economic growth”] and read it? You’re so one-sided that you’re boring. That’s why I didn’t renew my subscription. Your paper is clever but very tiresome. You’re stuck on heroes and champions and black and white and all that is pass. It’s the masses of grey which are the new doers. Sue Reyes, 805 Circle Drive, Bellaire, Tex. 77401. No. renewal No. 2 It’s fuzzy-minded knee-jerk radicals like you fishwives and scandalmongers, flippant potheads and welfare statists that keep me too broke to afford a renewal. Seriously: I love you, T.O., and I wish I could keep you coming. But attrition . the call of the simple life . . . devaluation . . . economic indicators. .. . Keep up the good work . . . but, alas, I’ll catch you on the news stands until I get to be a fat cat liberal. Maybe I’ll get to be a people’s lobbyist and make a bundle .. . ’til then, hasta la vista. Dennis Dick, 1700 Alameda, Austin, Tex. 78704. P.S. Steve B. has turned out to be a good review editor! Keep the “contemporary” stuff, it amuses. In the book shop in Scarbrough’s, an Austin department store, Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West is stocked on the “Texana” shelf, between a biography of Stephen F. Austin and a history of the University of Texas Ex-students Association.