Happiness Is Printing By 1? T URA Phone 512/4427836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS Newspapers Magazines Political Specialists Signs and Placards Bumperstrips Office Supplies 100% Union Shop PRESS INC MARTIN ELFANT SUN LIFE OF CANADA LIFE HEALTH DENTAL 600 JEFFERSON SUITE 430 HOUSTON, TEXAS 224-0686 the restrictions: he claims they might “eliminate or limit severely DPS activity such as checking background of gubernatorial appointments, locating missing persons, runaways, etc.” The companion bill drew even more criticism. SB 107 would require state a gencies which compile personal information to let the subjects of it know about the files, and give them a chance to remove or correct false information. Asst. Dist. Atty. Russell Ormesher of Dallas claimed, “We’d literally have to stop the Dallas district attorney’s office” to furnish such information. Deputy Police Chief Bob Pope, also of Dallas, told senators that 10 The Texas Observer The Outpost Austin’s Best Barbecue 11:30-7:30 Daily, Except Sunday David and Marion Moss 345-9045 Highway 183 North Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche Tibetan Buddhist teacher in Austin, Texas March 14-16 Lecture: The Dawn of Enlightenment Friday, 8:00 BEB 150 \(UT Campus at Seminar: Illusion’s Game Saturday, 2:00 through Sunday Howard Johnson’s Motor Inn \(IH 35 north of Send $10. Seminar deposit to Austin Dharmadhatu 2112 High Grove Terrace Austin, Texas 78703 For information call they’d be doing organized crime a favor by giving it a chance to find out what the white-hats had on it. Colonel Speir had guessed earlier that such a law would cost the state $16.3 million to implement. Schwartz said Speir’s estimate was an insult to the intelligence of the Legislature. Speir is making a habit of issuing fiscal advice of this type: last session he estimated it would cost the DPS a cool million to let people come look at information about to be made public by the Open Records Act. Nadeane Walker of The Dallas Times Herald has discovered a farm and ranch operation near Athens that uses former mental patients for labor, paying them as little as two dollars a week. The owner of the land said some 400 former patients have been involved over the last five years. In the past, he has employed furloughed patients from Terrell State Hospital, “but now [the hospital officials] give them a release and their families sign for them to come here.” The department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and the State Health Department are investigating to determine if the operation is in fact a “care facility.” The owner, Virgil Putnam, operates a halfway house in Dallas. Putnam told the Times Herald, “We encourage but don’t force residents to work. If I had the money, I’d pay them more.” But a relative of one worker told Walker she would not like to see the wages increased because her relative “would only get drunk or waste the money.” Two days after Walker’s story appeared, the former patients were removed from the ranch and “transported by pickup to an undisclosed location.” U.S. Sen. John Tower has told his State Republican Executive Committee that he is changing his mind about how to go about building the party’s influence in Texas. Tower has long been both the proponent and chief beneficiary of the party’s “trickle-down” tactics, which focus Republican time, talent, and money on “big races” those for governor and U.S. senator. Now, though, Tower suggests a concentration on local and legislative campaigns. Tower might have been taking his cue from the results of last year’s elections. State Chairman Jack Warren reported at the same meeting that the Texas party was the only state organization in the country that won a net increase in offices held while being wiped out at the “big race” level. Someone seems to have forgotten to tell folks at the Trinity River Authority that the plug has been pulled on their canal. Despite a defeat at the polls in 1973 and two defeats in Federal courts since 1973, the directors of the TRA are going to try one more time. They’ve announced a series of 19 public hearings in the counties along the Trinity to “find out what the people want us to do.” They maintain, and their charter backs them up, that one of their reasons-to-be is “improvement of the main channel of the river into a navigable barge canal.” They say if the public hearings are negative, they will consider dropping the improvement clause from the charter. Environmentalists, particularly those in the metropolitan areas along the river, are ready to appear at the hearings in full force to make sure the negative side of the canal argument is heard. TRA has hired John Tackett, a veteran Dallas-Fort Worth newsman and ex-Barefoot Sanders aide, to handle the speaking and flacking for the hearings. Hail & farewell Rep. Bill Heatly has been keeping busy passing resolutions commending departed comrades for their services in the Legislature. So far, six of Heatly’s resolutions all honoring retired conservatives with lengthy terms of service have been passed by both houses, including full readings in the House. Which wouldn’t be worth noting, except that one of the resolutions honored former Rep. John Allen of Longview. Allen declined to run for re-election last year after having pleaded guilty to a charge of nepotism in 1972. He had been indicted for conspiracy to steal state funds, a felony, but that charge was dismissed after the misdemeanor guilty plea. The resolution, which passed unanimously, called Allen a “skilled statesman” and a “fine Christian man,” and said his retirement “denotes the close of an illustrious legislative career.” The resolution received the same lack of notice that most legislative commendations do. Bill Collier of the Houston Chronicle filed a story on it, which summarized the history of Allen’s indictment and guilty plea. The story ran only in the paper’s first edition. Historian Joe Frantz, who’s been doing some research in old Dallas newspapers, recently discovered that George Allen, the current mayor pro tem of Big D, integrated the University of Texas years before Herman Sweatt arrived on the scene. In 1938, Allen, a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, was district manager of Excelsoir Life Insurance Co. He decided he needed to take sonic graduate courses in UT’s School of Business, so he applied by mail and telephone and was accepted. It wasn’t until he arrived in Austin that school administrators discovered .to their horror that Allen was of the Negro persuasion. Spokesmen for the school immediately started hollering about a “mistake,” but Allen managed to attend his business courses for two whole weeks before the dean summarily cancelled his enrollment.
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