Political Intelligence Gov. Dolph Briscoe and his friends in the Sheep and Goat Ranchers Associ ation think that the golden eagle is responsible for numerous lamb killings in Central and West Texas. They have asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Department of the Interior, for permission to slaughter golden eagles in 31 Texas counties. Interior Secretary Thomas S. Kleppe said he doubts that an eagle-killing permit is the answer to the problem. Others, such as J. Shawn Ogburn, executive director of the Raptor Preservation Fund, doubt that eagles are the problem at all. Eagles often are blamed for kills that they did not make, since they sink their talons even into dead animals before eating theni. Ogburn told the Observer; “Experts I contacted at Texas Tech and Baylor deny any documentation whatsoever of observing firsthand a golden eagle killing a sheep.” And Dr. Sam Beason of Texas A&M said a study of 200 dead lambs examined over the past two winters in the Trans-Pecos area documented only once case in which an eagle had definitely killed a lamb. Beason said most of the lambs were killed by coyotes and a small percentage of them died from natural causes. Ogburn charges that the governor and the sheep ranchers are shooting from the hip. “I’ve researched Governor Briscoe’s plan throughout and have found no evidence that he or his office contacted any state eagle experts or even the [state] Parks and Wildlife Department,” Ogburn said. The Fish and Wildlife Service has not yet taken action on the request. Dallas Power & Light Co. says that construction cost estimates on its Comanche Peak nuclear power plant have risen 77 percent in the last two years. DP&L originally estimated that construction would cost $777 million. Now it’s up to $1.38 billion and rising. Meanwhile, the company is lowering its projections on customer demand and has announced that the plant, originally scheduled for start-up in 1980, will instead begin operations in 1981. 8 The Texas Observer Secretary of State Mark White says that approximately one million new voters have registered in the past nine months. That brings Texas’ registered voters to nearly six million, more than 70 percent of the voting age population. For the asking Jose Angel Gutierrez, the Zavala County judge and Raza Unida Party founder, used the Freedom of Information Act to get the Central Intelligence Agency’s file on him. On CIA letterhead stationery with the Bicentennial seal, the agency obligingly sent him seven newspaper clips and informed him that eight other items in his file \(four “dispatches” from 1970 and 1972, plus one 1970 “memorandum,” one 1972 “cable,” and one newsclip each from The Washington Post and were deleted “under the exemption provisions of the Privacy Act.” So the net result of Gutierrez’ request is seven outdated clippings for his scrapbook, a tantalizing list of exemptions, and a cheerful note from Gene F. Wilson, information and privacy coordinator of the CIA, thanking him for his “patience and consideration.” Tad Hershorn Judge Gutierrez There’s a labor movement afoot at the Corpus Christi Caller and Times. The National Labor Relations Board was scheduled to hold a hearing Oct. 19 in Corpus to determine whether the Caller-Times Newsroom Association is an appropriate bargaining unit for union affiliation. The Newsroom Association is “a local effort, not associated with the Newspaper Guild or any other established labor organization,” explained reporter Jay Brakefield. Brakefield said that the Harte-Hanks management was calling an unusual number of staff meetings in Corpus and had indicated to reporters that they would fight the organizing effort within the limits of the law. The edifice complex at the University of Texas \($260 million spent or demolish several structures on its Little Campus, despite their listing on the National Register of Historic Places and designation as state archeological landmarks. No permit was requested from the state Antiquities Committee, although state laws require permission before landmarks may be “taken, altered, damaged, destroyed, salvaged, or excavated.” The first structure was begun in 1858 for a state school for the blind; and a number of the destroyed buildings were used by Brevet Major George Armstrong Custer when he headed the Union occupying forces in Texas following the Civil War. Bombs away The first annual Earl Butz Gratuitous Affront to Humanity Medallion goes to Paul Tibbets, commander of the “Enola .Gay,” for simulating the Hiroshima bombing mission during a recent Confederate Air Force show in Harlingen. The re-enactment was complete with a little mushroom cloud. Tibbets said he has never lost a night’s sleep over his role in the first atomic bombing, which killed at least 87,000 people. Where there’s oil money, there’s Texans. Today, there’s bushel bas kets full of oil money sitting around in the Mideast, and, true to form, Texas corporations are lined up to get a share of it.
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