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Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE PANTEX LEAKS. It’s not yet plutonium, but for the first time, environmental contamination from the Energy Department’s Pantex plant, near Amarillo, has been discovered in ground water beyond the boundarie .s of the sixteen-thousand-acre plant complex. Hollace Weiner of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has reported \(Decemcancer-causing explosive compounds have been found in a test well on the Lee Cockrell farm, across the road from the Pantex property. The test well, containing underground water which flows from the Pantex site, showed concentrations of high explosives “RDX” and “HMX”known poisons that can damage the central nervous systemin amounts ten times higher than safe drinking water standards. \(Tests at a second farm, upstream from the plant, also initially showed contamination, but later tests were clean; Spokesmen for the Energy Department and the Texas Department of Natural Resources insist that there is no immediate threat to health, that the contaminants will be filtered from the water, and that there is no danger to the Ogallala aquifer, the vast underground water supply which serves the entire region: The Pantex plant is a federal Superfund site, requiring a nationally mandated cleanup effort. Current tests of groundwater, say government spokesmen, have not shown radioactive materials. The explosive compounds are attributed to waste water derived from World War II bomb production. LA MIGRA ALERT. Susan Kern of the Border Rights Coalition has sent a “Call to Action” concerning the case of Benigno Pefia, director and immigration representative of the Harlingen South Texas Immigration Council, charged with interfering with the arrest, October 30, of two Mexican nationals outside STIC’ s Harlingen office. Pefia had arrived at his office that morning to find two Border Patrol trucks parked in front of it. According to Pala, as reported in the Valley Morning Star trampled Pella and a woman client in his rush to arrest Juan Ariciaga Moreno, who had come to the office seeking counsel. Pella filed a complaint with the Department of Justice following the arrest, alleging that the officer used unnecessary force, and that the action violated his clients’ constitutional right to legal representation. Three weeks later, the Border Patrol filed misdemeanor charges against Pella, supposedly for interfering with the arresting officer. At press time, Pefia had been indicted on the charge, and was scheduled for hearings and a trial, January 4-5. Those interested in more information about Perla’ s case, or providing support, should call Jonathan Jones of the Refugee and Immigrant Rights Coalition in South LAUGHINGSTOCK-MAN. In his first official city visit as leader of the Texas Democratic Party, new state chairman Bill White told Beaumont Democrats that he was drawing a bulls-eye on new Ninth District U.S. Representative Steve Stockman. As reported by David Bauerlein of the Beaumont Enterprise told a gathering of local Democratic leaders, “My chief goals are to keep the state House, keep the Senate, and pick up this congressional seat. The local congressman [Stockman] is sort of a national laughingstock.” Sabine Labor Council president Ruelle Parker described Stockman’ s unexpected defeat of longtime district representative Jack Brooks as a “wake-up call.” He added that too many Democratic voters thought that Brooks could not lose, “so a lot of people stayed home, and we let the other side get the jump on us. We’re not going to let that happen to us this time.” HANGING FIRE? In what is being described as a backlash against the recent state legislation allowing qualified Texans to carry concealed handguns, many businesses and municipalities are reacting by restricting the new “right to carry,” which took effect January 1. Frank Bass of the Wall Street Journal state’s twenty largest businesses, three-quarters of the twenty biggest Texas cities, and more than five dozen university campuses, have all either banned concealed weapons outright or are developing restrictions against them. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which issues the handgun permits, has banned weapons from its offices. Corporations from Administaff to WalMart, and cities from Waco to El Paso, have passed regulations prohibiting concealed weapons in their buildings. Gary Mathiason, of a law firm specializing in employment law, said that Texas employers have been especially active in developing gun bans and related workplace safety programs. “And think about the effect of concealed weapons on a supervisor. Are you going to want to give a poor performance review to an armed employee? It’s just insanity.” Dave Smith, president of the Houston chapter of Texans Against Gun Violence, said that in the wake of the new law, “People are coming to their senses, now that they’re faced with reality. Do people really want to work with people who are carrying guns around in their pockets?” Managing Publisher The Texas Observer, progressive biweekly 42-years-old this December, seeks managing publisher to oversee marketing and promotion, fundraising, and non-profit business office. Experience should include direct mail solicitation and magazine promotion experience; fundraising from donors, foundations, and subscribers; and ability to supervise business operations, including circulation and finances. An extraordinary opportunity for hardworking progressive to raise hell in Texas. Send resume and salary requirements by January 12 to The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th St., Austin, Texas, 78701. No phone calls, please. 24 JANUARY 12, 1996