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Chuck Caldwell’s 1731 New Hampshire Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009 Dupont Circle/Embassy area Spacious rooms Coffee shop Parking Best buy in D.C. Present this ad when checking in and receive a $10 introductory rebate. CALL TOLL FREE 800-424-2463 1 PUTS ART TO WORK Political cartoons and graphics for your publication For a free sample contact Estelle Carol and Bob Simpson 2501 N. St. Louis St. Chicago, IL 60647 ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES AUSTIN TEXAS 7W731 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip basis. Believe it or not, the legislature was not sympathetic. Even the senators from Corpus Christi and Brownsville were unsympathetic. State Sen. Bruce Reagan of Corpus, an insurance agent \(and pretty friendly with the insurance ton problem. Corpus never experienced State Sen. Jim Bates, although friendly, was even less sympathetic since he did not even think his people bought much windstorm insurance. \(South Padre Island was a slightly populated sand bar The Lord, as is His usual practice when memories get short, sent Beulah and Celia to Texas. All of a damn sudden I had Reagan and Bates as vigorous advocates for my program. I passed it and can honestly say I was a little surprised that we finally got some insurance company support in the bargain. Some companies, of course, were frankly and accurately scared to death that a catastrophic loss would bust a bunch of companies overnight. Texas got lucky, time passed, and the legislature created committees \(which I reports. We informed the public and coastal home buyers who wanted to know and who could read, write, and hear, about every hazard known to man course not! It’s like trying to educate teenagers about V.D. or pregnancy. The passion of the middle aged, middle class for a beachside pleasure home is as strong as their sex drive. It just builds to a peak later in life. The later, the stronger. It is also a passion of the wealthier members of our society to be on the beach itself. Emitting loud political noises, they are able to acquire the insurance for their luxuries, insurance originally intended for necessities. The leisure-home boom was fed by the availability of cheap windstorm insurance and federally subsidized flood insurance. Federal flood claims are paid at a rate four times greater than premium income. How’s that for stupidity when we have a $200 billion national deficit? We insure guaranteed losses! In the windstorm cat pool and the flood insurance laws there are supposed to be strict standards. Guess what? They ain’t enforced. Sombody was sure as hell not building to any realistic standard on the West End of Galveston Island in the last twenty years. What did we do while all of that building was taking place? We created a premium tax credit for companies writing in the pool that might have to participate in a catastrophic loss in excess of $100 million dollars. Then we sat back and waited for the inevitable. It came. August 17th; Alicia. “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.” If it’s insured, however, you can build it back. Maybe. Old problem; new complaint: those luxury lovin’ beachfront homeowners couldn’t insure against erosion. Now the beachfront lot of yesteryear is the underwater lot of today, tomorrow and forever, and the State, as always since time immemorial, is the owner of all coastal submerged lands to the line of mean average hightide. Additionally, the public has an easement on the dry beach from high tide to the line of vegetation. Whose Loss? The attorney general says no house 50% or more destroyed may be re-built if now on the state land or on the public easement. The owners go bananas! Nobody ever told them! Not so. It’s disclosed to them in their title insurance policy. No coverage and no excuses that will hold water. It’s in every coastal publication known to man. It’s in every speech I ever made, including one to the Galveston Jaycees on August 23, 1973, where I repeated for the umpteenth time even then, that the beautiful beachfront lot of today is the underwater lot of tomorrow. I even advised all those the second lot in any subdivision and be patient. They would be on the beach in ten years. If they did, they are! Ten years to the day. Now some folks who ignored good advice and constructed homes on or near the dunes or vegetation line on the west end of Galveston Island have lost some of those homes to Hurricane Alicia; in some cases they also lost the land on which those homes were built. Thus the question which inevitably had to be answered has been posed. Who must suffer the loss? The attorney general, after the erosion was evident, immediately declared that homes in the water or on the dry-beach public easement which were more than 50% destroyed would not be permitted to be reconstructed. A house not more than 50% destroyed can be reconstructed, but if destroyed again it may not be reconstructed ever. That compromise will place some houses squarely within the public easement and constitutes a serious detriment to the public’s right to the use of the beach. Those homes also create a substantial Og ro < afbo THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5