Public access for Austin Last fall Austin Community to get a public access channel for Austin. The group was mainly comprised of gung-ho communications students from the University of Texas. Cooler heads kept telling them to go slowly in their negotiations with Capital Cable, Inc., the Austin cable facility which is partially owned by Lady Bird Johnson. Capital Cable, after all, is not in the top 100 markets and is not presently required to provide a channel for public use. But the students went right ahead and set up a seminar on video and invited Donald Thomas, LBJ’s lawyer and a member of the Capital Cable’s board of directors. Quicker than you can say local origination, Thomas offered the group the use of one of the cable’s channels on a regular basis during prime nighttime hours, five days a week. ACTV already has completed a semi-successful air check which indicates that amateur television producers may well be able to use half-inch videotape on the cable. Using half-inch rather than oneor two-inch equipment would significantly reduce the cost of programming. The public access facility is scheduled to begin regular programming in September. Persons interested in working with ACTV should write the group c/o 924 Littlefield Bldg., Austin, or call A.C. 512 472-8977. A jovial former legislator is chortling superiorily at the people naive enough to think that legislators oppose financial disclosure because they don’t Sen. Don Adams want voters to know how much money they make. The thing they are reluctant to have us know, according to our source, is how much money they don’t make. “They’re all poor,” he says. Our source points out that when a legislator takes out a bank loan to get him through a session, he may fudge a little on his collateral statement. Such shenanigans would have to stop if his actual fiscal situation were sworn to and placed in the public record. 18 in the Senate Insisting that high school students would be sipping martinis during lunch hour and getting abortions without momma’s consent, a dedicated group of conservatives stymied Senate action on a minor’s rights bill for weeks. Most of the bill’s opponents were from rural areas. They included Don Adams, D-Jasper; John Traeger, D-Seguin; Tom Creighton, D-Mineral Wells; Mike McKinnon, D-Corpus Christi; Peyton McKnight, D -Tyler; Ike Harris, R-Dallas; Jack Hightower, D-Vernon, A. M. Aikin, D-Paris; Grant Jones, D-Abilene; Bill Moore, D-Bryan; and Bill Patman, D-Ganado. Adams chubbed the bill for an hour and a half before it was finally passed 18-11. The measure, sponsored by Bob Gammage, D-Houston, gives persons 18 years of age and older the legal rights to handle their own business affairs, serve on state juries, buy and consume liquor and consent to their own medical treatment. Charles Herring of Austin is the Senate sponsor of the open records bill which was passed by the House Feb. 14. Since Herring is chairman of the Senate committee that is hearing the bill, it was expected to cruise easily through committee. Instead, it’s stalled. The Houston Chronicle offered a reasonable explanation for the bill’s difficulties when it revealed that Herring is a partner in Capitol Commerce Reporter, Inc., a profitable enterprise that furnishes information on credit transactions filed with the Commercial Code Division of the secretary of state’s office. CCR is provided free space in the state office, along with access to and free use of the agency’s computers and files. House sponsors of the records bill say that Herring came to them and asked if he could carry the bill. Herring contends it was they who came to him. When George Kuempel of the Chronicle asked Herring about the possible effect of the proposed legislation on the financial wellbeing of Capitol Commerce Reporter, Herring testily concluded the interview, explaining, “I’m not going to talk about it any more. This is my personal business.” The records bill is in a subcommittee headed by Bill Meier, D-Fort Worth. The Senate unanimously passed a bill bumping vending machine operators off the Texas Vending Commission. Sen. Jack Ogg of Houston said the change in membership would eliminate the possibility of the “underworld or Mafia” gaining control of the vending machine operations in Texas. The excrement hit the ventillator when U.T. Chancellor Charles group of minority legislators to explain why he appointed a white male to head an “affirmative action” program for equal employment at the university. The University of Texas’s administration is 95 percent white, 2 percent black and 3 percent brown. “I know of no unfair employment practices in the UT system,” LeMaistre told the legislators. “Sir, I submit to you that you don’t know what’s going on under you,” Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston answered. Count Rep. Anthony Hall as one of the people who thought Senfronia Thompson protested too much when Kit Cooke called her his “beautiful black mistress” \(see Obs., from Houston like Thompson, called Cooke long-distance the weekend after the incident to tell him he was not in accord with Thompson’s statements in a personal privilege speech on the House floor. Credit where credit is due. Gov . Dolph Briscoe has refused to sign a bill allowing railroad police to be designated as peace officers giving them power of arrest. Briscoe said the peace power “is inherent in the state and its various political subdivisions and agencies, and this power ought not to be delegated to the control of private industry no matter how great the need.” Good news No one here hates to say, “we told you so,” so we’re happy to note that the Robert Heard-Jack Keever AP series on racism in UT football \(see Obs., Dec. 15, received a special citation in a national journalism contest. The Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University gave the series special recognition in its announcement of the 1973 Paul Tobenkan Award. The award went to Howard Cohn of the Detroit Free Press. The only other citation given went to Lesley Oelsner of the New York Times. The Heard-Keever series received no recognition in the Texas May 11, 1973 7
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