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In praise of Charles Ramsdell We are diminished. On Aug. 29 Charles Ramsdell died in Greenville, North Carolina, at the home of his son, Dr. Michael Ramsdell. Graveside services were held at Mission Burial Park, San Antonio, on Aug. 31. He was contributing editor to the Observer, author of an article on Texas in Encyclopaedia Brittanica, a former newspaperman in San Antonio and author of the best book written on San Antonio San Antonio, a Historical and Pictorial Guide. He had a keen mind and high regard for the truth, whether the subject was historical fact or current happening. He combined these qualities of mind with a somewhat elfish sense of humor. It was my privilege to work with him for almost two years as a Spanish translator in San Antonio during WW II. Bert Holcombe, 1022 Greer St., San Antonio, Tex 78210. He’s a conservative In your last edition you referred to me as a liberal Republican. My friends tell me that describing someone as “liberal” is the Observer’s way of saying, “We like you.” So, thank you for your kind wishes. In fact, I am a conservative. For those of your readers who view “conservative” as a pejorative label, just let me say that sincere concern about great public issues is not the exclusive preserve of either liberals or conservatives, nor does either have an exclusive market on human compassion, creative ideas, or an uplifting vision of where we should go as a nation. As a political candidate, I endeavored to present a positive program, and I proposed a constructive alternative whenever I opposed what someone else proposed. Perhaps conservatives in the last two decades have suffered electoral disappointments because they have failed to present a constructive alternative. From my experience, I have concluded that when more conservatives accept this responsibility, they will find that many liberals will give active, confident, and sometimes even enthusiastic support to conservative candidates and their programs. Douglas Harlan, 2634 W. Gramercy Place, San Antonio, Tex. 78228. This Sanguine nonsense I am a former Wisconsinite who now lives in Ithaca, New York, writing for a community newspaper. We have an 22 The Texas Observer IDialogue exchange with the Observer, which is how I came to read your “observations” about Project Sanguine. I’m not much of an expert, since I’ve been in Ithaca during all of this, but I do know what my mother tells me. Maybe I can begin to answer your question as to why Wisconsin wasn’t chosen as a site. You suggest politics. You might, in fact, call it that. Wisconsin had one drawback that the Navy was hoping Texas didn’t have a lot of vocal environmental crazies, including Sen. William Proxmire. You see, Wisconsin is a fairly rural state, especially in Northern Wisconsin where Sanguine was being planned. There are a lot of unsophisticated rural and small town people who get sort of nervous about a giant receiver being built underneath half of the state. It seems they just didn’t realize the need for these nuclear submarines. The Navy was trying to convince us that they could build this thing a metal grid buried underground at intervals over half the state without much disturbing the land or wildlife and without endangering humans, animals or plants. To do this they would have to ground every piece of metal in the area fences, beer cans, old cars, etc. They never made it very clear how they were going to dig up half the state without disturbing it or how they knew it wasn’t going to affect plant growth. Well, northern Wisconsin is beautiful country. It’s teeming with lakes, pine trees, tr out streams, wild strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, chokeberries, deer and all sorts of other good things. People up there are pretty fond of it. Anyway, my point is that you do well to ask questions. I really hope that Texas can put up the same fight Wisconsin did against this Sanguine nonsense. Donnsa E. Thomas, P.O. Box 218, Ithaca, New York 14850. Contra Katz In reference to Harvey Katz’ letter of support to Rep. Lane Denton and his subcommittee’s work, I would like to make a reply . . The truth of the matter is a pleasant change, but it is rather that a progressive and humane school like Mary Lee [ School for Girls] exists in Texas at all. Prior to entering law school this fall, I had the opportunity to observe, first hand, child care institutions in Texas as I was employed in this field during the past four years in positions ranging from child care worker, caseworker, to program director. I have worked at several schools for handicapped and disturbed youths, but it was my good fortune to settle at Mary Lee School the last two years of this time. It has been my experience that students are treated more humanely and given more opportunity for treatment and rehabilitation at Mary Lee than at other institutions known to me. Mary Lee is a private, non-profit school that has taken a severe financial beating during the past few years by providing a badly-needed service not offered by any state agency in Texas with tuition that could be afforded by parents and state agencies alike. Mary Lee has built an enviable record as a treatment center by working with problem multiple-handicapped girls \(borderline mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, preand juvenile-delinquent and of these girls came from or were headed to state schools, state hospitals or state juvenile detention centers although few of them belonged there. Now several hundred of these girls live independent lives and work and maintain themselves within various communities… The specific facts are that Mary Lee is neither an abusive nor a money-hungry school. Bedcost per student was $377 per month before the current round of inflation. Tuition ranges from a high of $450 to $0 per month. An outstanding educational program is offered that is recognized by the Texas Educational Agency and provided for by the Austin Independent School District on the Mary Lee campus. This combined with vocational training and a job-placement program have made Mary Lee a first-rate alternative to the non-rehabilitative “warehouse effect” that is currently under attack in state institutions .. . Why is it that Mr. Denton never investigated any of the larger profit-making schools of the Austin area that really do charge $1000 tuition per month? Could it be that he feared their political clout and the long legal battle that would entail because of their financial resources? . . . I personally heard several disenchanted aides of the subcommittee and state agency personnel say that if Mary Lee had “pretty new buildings and a new swimming pool” none of this would have happened .. . I think it fits the Observer’s tradition of