ustxtxb_obs_1996_08_30_50_00003-00000_000.pdf

Page 1

by

1– in one of its colonies. It is Wall Street’s , -,ambition to make sure the new Global —–/Economy revolves around New York City, DIALOGUE and therefore, Wall Street. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” went the song by Tears for Fears, especially, it seems, if you’re a New Yorker. As for the rest of us here in The Colonies, we’re expected to suffer in silence. We need many more Rod Chris Ellis San Bernardino, CA After just returning from my local public library where I read the July 26 issue of the Observer from cover to cover, I realize just how little real news and impassioned conscientious writing I’ve been getting through the mainstream media. As one of many former journalists who gave up in disgust, I particularly identified with the lead feature on the fate of Texas writing and writers. Sign me up!…Thanking you for keeping truth alive, Jim Bush Waxahachie COVERING SIERRA: GRACIAS We in Far West Texas owe a debt of gratitude to Lou Dubose for the persistence and the quality of his reporting on stories from our area that have been generally ignored by the rest of the mediathe dual outrages of the largest sewage dump in the country and the proposed radioactive waste dump, both in tiny Sierra Blanca. Only he bothered to cover the incredible sludge libel trial in Pecos this spring, and most Texans reading of the Earth Day blockade of the international bridge at Del Rio in the May 31 Observer will be reading of it for the first time. The deck has indeed been stacked against Sierra Blanca. Dan Shelley, the exstate rep who sponsored HB 2665the “Screw Sierra Blanca Bill”which drew a box around 370 square miles, including the town, and mandated that the site would be there, whatever the geology, is now the ..!.gislative liaison for Governor Bush. ExGovernor Ann is said to be working as a lobbyist for the Compact, the bill that will make the dump competitive by introducing “volume of scale” \(in the form of imported lower the tipping fees. Even Sierra Blanca’s own State Representative, Pete Gallego, voted for this turkey, and you won’t find Hudspeth’s name among the eleven counties with resolutions against the dump; the home-county elected officials have had a taste of the money, and apparently they like it. In the coming months, one state agency, the TNRCC, will hear the plea of another state agency, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority, to establish a dump favored by the Governor of that state in a poor, minority community in an active earthquake zone. The TNRCC has on this issue received over 500 requests for hearings, including requests from the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Coahuila and the cities of Juarez and Acufia, the Mexican Foreign Ministry, the city of El Paso, and the counties of Culberson and, I am proud to say, Presidio. Politics, not science, will determine the TNRCC’s decision, so the only strategy likely to prevent this proposed injustice is to make approval of the dumpsite as exposed, as international, and as politically expensive as possible. Mexico’s reported linkage of cleaning up Carbon I and H with our scrapping the plan to build the Sierra Blanca dump might make a noise that some would hear if the media in general would cover it. The Observer covered it. Thanks again, and please keep it up. Without media visibility we’re as good as nuked. Gary Oliver Marfa GETTING TECHNICAL I’m all for cheap shots, but at least make them well-informed cheap shots. Your July 26 “Political Intelligence” item \(“Starr to the Texas Tech Law Review really missed the boat. First, Texas Tech is a good law school. Observer readers should note that the dean, W. Frank Newton, is one of the country’s most effective advocates for legal-services funding, pro bono legal work and other progressive measures. Tech doesn’t need Starr for some grab for national recognition; it already has it. Second, Starr’s essay is part of a “Faith and the Law” issue put out by the Texas Tech Law Review. The editors asked scholars and practitioners from across the county to write on the topic and then they put it all together in a 516-page review. A lot of it’s good reading. Starr’s essay, however, is hands down the weakest of the bunchjust a couple pages’ worth of vague ramblings about being humble \(something I don’t think he’s ever been you will, but don’t pick on Tech because they asked him to contribute. Why am I flacking for Tech? Glad you asked. I’m helping to moderate an online discussion of faith and the law on Counsel Connect, a national legal online service. Bob Elder Austin, [email protected] counsel. corn IN MEMORIAM, MICHAEL ROBERT Michael Robert, a Port Aransas innkeeper and tireless worker for progressive political causes, was buried August 9 on the island where he had made his home since he re turned from England in the 1980s. He was born in Port Aransas and graduated from high school there. He was murdered in his home. Michael was an unrecognized hero in the progressive and gay political movements. In Port Aransas, he worked for the Coastal Bend AIDS Foundation, quietly funded, organized, and served Thanksgiving dinners for AIDS sufferers, ran unsuccessfully for local office in the Democratic Primary, and worked on the Ann Richards and Bill Clinton campaigns. He recognized that true democratic politics transcend the politics of the Democratic Party, yet remained utterly committed to Democratic Party politics often challenging leftist and liberal friends on the Island and in Corpus Christi to show him “a better option.” He was a supporter of, and an occasional source of stories for, this publication, believed that one could fight the good fight and have a good time doing it, and had planned to attend the Republican National Convention in San Diegoas a protester. He was missed there. We continue to miss him. AUGUST 30, 1996 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3