THE GURDRLUPE CULTURAL RRTS CENTER LITERATURE PROGRAM’S Ninth Annual San Antonio lilietAffiericail llookfir and Literary Festival Demetria Martinez Lorna Dee Cervantes + Llan Stavans Jose Antonio Burciaga Rolando Hirtojosa Cecile Pineda Joy Harjo Pat Mora + Sandra Cisneros . Elena Poniatowska Benjamin Mire Sienz + Augusto Monterroso Denise Chavez also: Margaret Randall Barbara Jacobs A. D. Coleman Bobby Byrd Arthur Sze Hugo Valdez Manriquez Juan Bruce Novoa *:* Virgil Suarez Sheila Ortiz Taylor Demetria Martinez Paulette Ales Max Martinez Irene Beltran Hernandez Diane Gonzalez Bertrand Ofe -tollaer AM -to ]1_= 199= at the Mexican Cultural Institute, HemisFair Plaza in downtown San Antonio For information. cal’ r write Bryce Milligan, Literatut am Director, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, ax 271-3480.. Senior & student prices for evening events, $4 The San Antonio Inter-American Bookfai r and the literature program of the Guada oltural Arts Center are made possible through the generous support of: The Southwestern Bell Foundation, the San Antonio !Apartment of Arts and Cultural Affairs, :lexicon Cultural Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, Sandra Cisneros. Cecile pineda, the H.E.B. Corporation, USAA, the Anheuser-Busch Corporation, San Antonio express-News, Half Price Books Records & Ma,gazines, the Southwest Craft Center, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Saint Marys University, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, Univershlad National Autonoma de Mexico, M&A Editions, Incarnate Word College, and the Book Trust. Another supporter has close ties to the governor. Jenna Welch, Gov. Bush’s mother-in-law, has visited the Erskines’ property many times to watch birds. “She does good work,” says Welch of Erskine. “She was there long before the people [the Bakers] bought their property. She should be allowed to stay.” David Haukos, a FWS biologist who also teaches at Texas Tech, assessed the Erskine property March 9. He concluded the Erskine property is “an important oasis to migratory birds, as nesting, migrating and wintering habitat.” He said the land also “may serve as a refuge for native plant species.” Haukos counted at least six species of perennial grass \(the Erskines there are a hundred species of trees and shrubs on the tract, which sits near the intersection of Midkiff and Golf Course Road. The wilds of the Erskine yard contrast sharply with the surroundings. The trees and shrubs hum with birds. Mockingbirds, kingbirds and hummingbirds flit and flutter through the dense growth. On a warm June morning, the Erskines took me on a tour. Within three minutes of their backdoor, we saw a Texas horned lizard, and nearly a dozen types of birds. A few yards beyond the lizard, a pair of sandhill cranes, who’ve become semi-permanent residents of the Erskine sanctuary, quietly walked along the fence line. .A few yards beyond that, on all sides, was suburban Midland: square houses, behind square lawns, divided by square driveways and square streets. Mr. Erskine believes the Bakers, rather than being bonafide homeowners, are real estate traders who purchased the land from the RTC under false pretenses, and in fact want to acquire the Erskine property as well and develop it into a shopping mall or divide it into lots and build more houses. “Our only crime is that we own land that is prime development property,” said Mr. Erskine. The Erskines have already spent twentyfive thousand dollars in cash on legal fees. Supporters have paid some of the legal costs, but last spring, the Erskines mortgaged their property in order to take out a ninety-five-thousand-dollar loan, all of which they used to pay their lawyer. A few weeks ago the lawyer, Gregg Owens, told them all of the money had been spent and that the bill now totals a hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. “I still don’t understand how they can run up that much money,” said Erskine. “If we lose, we have such a debt, we’ll have to sell everything.” The Erskines live on about fourteen thousand dollars per year, half of which comes from Mr. Erskine’s Social Security. The rest he earns as a part-time instructor at Midland College. If the Erskines lose in court, they say they will likely be forced to declare bankruptcy. After three years, Mrs. Erskine tires of the battle. But she vows to continue fighting for her land and her way of life. “What harm is there in this?” she asked. “The people in the surrounding area get to see a lot of unique birds due to the spillover from our property. To destroy a unique habitat just doesn’t make sense.” Continued from p.15 This would have meant that they would have lost their monopoly on marketing these very-high-priced drugs, allowing generic drug makers to make much cheaper versions of the same product. Bottom line: big savings for us consumers. But with their eleventh hour GATT-attack, suddenly the brand-name giants get three more years of monopolymeaning they get to keep charging ripoff prices and reap windfall profits for themselves. How big of a windfall? At least $2 billion. In last fall’s elections, these drug makers fed $3.2 million in campaign contributions to our lawmakersand now they’re getting a $2-billion payback directly out of your and my pockets. Every time you buy one of their pills, remember: the proper prescription for this drug-price gouging is campaign finance reform. GILDING THE NEWT Rootie-toot-toothere comes “The Newt”! Our Loudspeaker of the House is at it again, becoming “The Little Potentate of Pomposity.” Maybe Newt Gingrich can’t be president, but he can by-gawd prance around like one. Already he’s given his own “State of the Union” address, just as though he was our Chief of State. He’s also hired his own full contingent of bodyguards to scamper around him like real Secret Service agents do, scowling and talking in code into tiny lapel transmitters, just as though he was the president. Now “His Royal Newtness” has added another pricey ornament to his presidential costume. He’s hired his own protocol officer! While he’s slashing everything from school lunches to Medicare, all in the name of eliminating unnecessary federal spending…he’s shelling out sixty-two thousand dollars a year for a “Director of Protocol for the U.S. House of Representatives.” What crying need warrants this new staff position? Well, his spokesman proclaims, so many foreign poobahs now come to the Capitol to pay homage to Newt that he’s got have someone to help him perform royally…just as though he was president. Sure enough, the job description calls for the Protocol Director to handle such essential national duties as keeping straight the titles and correct forms of address for visiting dignitaries. No more addressing the Queen of England with “Howdy Ma’am,” as a former House doorkeeper once did when Queen Liz come to speak. Now, Newt will known the proper curtsy and be up on all the appropriate diplomatic P’s and Q’s. The Queen is probably as pleased as you are that our tax dollars are at work for us puffing up the ego of “The Little Potentate of Pomposity.” 10 SEPTEMBER 15, 1995
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