gonna do what they want to do and nothing we do is gonna stop them.” THAT THE DOE has succeeded in doing is to encourage V a tunnel-vision approach to nuclear waste disposal. During its mad dash to meet deadlines set in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the DOE has spread panic. No one in Hereford that day even suggested an alternative to burial, just different burial sites. One woman suggested burying the waste next to the plant that produces it. That answer would require two sites in. Texas one on the Colorado River near the Gulf of Mexico for the South Texas Nuclear Project. Several people, including White, said to give it to the state of Washington, where lobbying for the dump continues. \(The citizens of Hanford, Washington, are reported to welcome the dump, hoping it will provide jobs for the 6,000 construction workers who were laid off in 1981 when two nuclear plants closed down due to But many nuclear experts think the DOE has people straining camels and swallowing elephants. They believe that the question isn’t where the waste should be buried, but rather whether it should be buried at all. “We don’t necessarily have the technology to bury it and forget it,” said Sinkin. “The largest public relations problem the nuclear industry “It seems like an animal response to dig a hole, bury it, and cover it so no one else will see it.” has faced other than Three Mile Island is the failure to come up with a solution before creating nuclear waste. It seems like an animal response to dig a hole, bury it, and cover it so no one else will see it.” But what are the alternatives? “I hope no one is talking about sending it into orbit around the sun.” said Millar. “Not as long as four out of 100 rockets still blow up on launch. ” Possible solutions at this time include reprocessing into plutonium, which enhances the possibilities for its use in weapons \(by governkinds of burial, such as seabed disposal; or, perhaps the best answer, keeping the waste in above-ground storage, where it can be monitored and retrieved until further technology develops. “I believe,” said Sinkin, “that having committed this crime against future generations, we have to have a group of people constantly monitoring it to let the world know how it is going. We can’t afford to let one-tenth of one percent of it escape into the bio-sphere.” Although the outlook appears grim, what is clear is that the DOE needs to devote more time and money to the particulars of nuclear waste disposal transportation, storage, and realistic environmental impact studies before deciding on burial and choosing a burial site. “If you have a problem that is 10,000 years long,” Sinkin said, “it’s reasonable to spend 50 to 100 years solving it.” Amarillo AMARILLO’S gay community lives underground. In this strongly conservative, deeply religious city, open homosexuality is tolerated in only a few small nightclubs. So when Amarillo police began a pattern of arrests in gay bars that patrons termed “harassment,” the gays fought back. And they won, for the most part. The police crackdown began in September and lasted about two months. Uniformed officers, on routine bar checks, would ask gay patrons to “step outside.” There, arrests for public intoxication were made, without conducting a single sobriety test, such as the standard walking-the-line or touching-the-nose. “In those particular months there were just massive arrests, enough to fill up however many police units happened to be there,” said attorney Betty Wheeler, who helped organizers of the Terry FitzPatrick is a freelance writer living in Amarillo. gay rights group Positive Iniage. “Police would just say ‘step outside’ and the person was just sitting there and not causing any problems.” Kevin Locke, Positive Image president, says comments by the officers revealed their intentions. “The officers said you better stop going there [the OP club] because we’re going to keep doing this until we close the place down,” Locke said. “One person got out [of jail] at 10:30 one night and ‘was back up at the bar and they [police] came back about 1 o’clock and arrested him again and told him that we remember you from last night, why don’t you come with us?” Locke said. So far, everyone who has fought the charges has won. Several cases were dropped by assistant city attorneys when the defendants showed up for trial with a lawyer. Prosecutors declined to accept several other cases. Two cases went to trial; the defendants won. One jury took only four minutes to reach a verdict of not guilty. Many other gay men simply paid their fine, to avoid the publicity. Organization is what helped win the trials. Positive Image distributed a flyer in Amarillo’s gay bars. It explained how to handle confrontations with police: get the officer’s name and badge number, get the names of people who witnessed the arrest, and don’t resist. “Once we distributed those flyers, and after we went to court in the first couple of cases, the arrests screeched almost immediately to a halt,” said Wheeler. “Clearly the practice has changed. Those particular officers aren’t seen in the clubs very much. It’s other officers who are coming in to do the bar check.” Gay leaders think the incidents this fall were isolated, and were not part of a department-wide effort by police to shut down the gay bars. The same officers’ names appeared on the arrest reports night after night. One of the arresting officers, while on the witness stand, denied any previous disciplinary actions against him by the department. Wheeler called Police Chief Jerry Neil to the stand to say that the officer had been “too rigid in his dealings with the public” in the past and had been disciplined. Wheeler told the jury that the officer’s original denial was proof that he was simply trying to “justify a bad arrest.” p OLICE Chief Neil and City Attorney Merril Nunn have denied any pattern of bad arrests or harass ment. But then came a trial for homosexual conduct. Night Clubs and Billy Clubs By Terry FitzPatrick 14 JANUARY 25, 1985
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