Houston CATV issues I read recently in the Observer a glowing account of some virtues of cable TV at Taylor, Texas. I hope that the following pertinent information concerning CATV in Houston is presented to the readers of The Texas Observer. On Nov. 6, Houstonians will vote on a franchise ordinance to allow a group of local business interests strongly tied in with the development of water districts to build and operate a community antenna TV system on a monopoly basis in Houston. The issue is not for or against CATV, but rather the ordinance as written. CATV will come to Houston whether or nor Greater Houston CATV receives the franchise. The issue in contention by some civil libertarians is safeguards for the basic Bill of Rights freedoms. The franchise has no felony sanctions against invasion of privacy. No considerations are listed as to establishing standards of excellence, something needed in today’s world of mediocrity of broadcast TV. The issues listed, plus the lack of employee rights \(i.e., collective bargaining and equality of progressive citizen to vote no on the CATV ballot. A final basic issue which should deter 32 The Texas Observer IDialogue most voters is the low rate of payment Greater Houston CATV monopoly will pay the City of Houston for the privilege to operate in Houston. The CATV franchise specifies that Houston will receive only 3 percent of the gross receipts from residential service. A CATV franchise granted in New York City gives that city the following royalties: 5 percent of the gross residential receipts, 10 percent of all commercial services \(i.e., leased channels or TV becomes legal, 25 percent of the gross receipts from pay TV. Any rational voter will ask why is this so. The answer on Nov. 6 is NO! Mike Noblet, Family Law Center, 1115 Congress Ave., Houston, Tex. 77002. Nuclear risks New technologies require an assessment of benefits vs. risks. Recent evidence seems to indicate that, in the case of nuclear fission power generation, the benefits are not worth the risks. Gerald A. Drake, M.D. of Petoskey, Michigan, testifying at hearings on low level radiation, cited statistics and displayed charts showing an infant mortality rate in Charlevoix County, where the Big Rock Point nuclear power plant is located, 49 percent higher than in the state as a whole, an immature infant rate \(under rate 400 percent higher, a cancer death rate 15 percent higher \(this will probably rise, a congential defect rate 230 percent higher. Dr. Drake admits that his figures are based on small numbers, and percentage changes can thus be spectacular, but he adds, “Since all five categories show disturbing changes which could relate to increased radioactivity, caution and more detailed study would apper to be indicated.” The study covers a period of 10 years this year the plant became one of the first to use added plutonium, the most carcinogenic agent known to man. Figures on gaseous and liquid waste discharges vary tremendously from plant to plant and from time to time. Dr. Drake says that the Big Rock Point emission rate, though high, is still less than 1 percent of what the Atomic Energy Commission considers acceptable! By present standards the Michigan plan is small 75 megawatts. A number of plants which will consist of two units of 1150 megawatts each are planned for Texas. It would be the height of folly to proceed with the construction of these nuclear giants until all health and safety questions have been resolved. Please let your elected representatives on the local, state and national levels hear from you. Mrs. John H. Hicks, 2305 Wilke Drive, Austin, Tex. 78704. Forget Cochran I read Proud Flesh by William Humphrey and it’s hard to believe that your reviewer, Bob Cochran, and I read the same book. The point of the book, as I read it, was the destructiveness inherent in the attitudes and behavior of the Renshaws. bigotry and sexism rampant in the family and in the community. He does find humor the people and the situations. And the book ends with a sort of madness. Humphrey examines his characters, their attitudes, and lives and concludes with the Renshaw syndrome raised to the ultimate power madness. This syndrome \\ remains very much with us, and Humphrey’s novel is a worthy discussion of it. Forget Cochran and give Humphrey a chance! Mary Ficklen, 6657 Avalon Ave., Dallas, Tex. Others strange, too I was somewhat surprised at the editorial about John Niland’s experience \(Obs., Oct. usually so open minded. \(If I am sounding Perhaps the last sentence holds the key: . . . we find Duane Thomas so much easier to understand.” I Corinthians 2:14 “But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him, because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in.” It does seem strange, but many conversions have seemed strange. Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, probably had the most unbelievable. Let us hope and pray these conversions will lead to more justice and equality. M. Cross, 5810 Twineing, Dallas, Tex. 75227. address of Spiro T. Agnew Monday night brought a number of telephone calls to station KYW-TV here complaining because the normally scheduled program wasn’t on. So the National Broadcasting Company affiliate had this advisory moving under the former vice president: ” ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ will not be seen tonight.” Corpus Christi Caller-Times
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