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V ‘Amp wimp Awl”‘ The 1997 PEN Texas Awards ceremony was held March 12 in Dallas, recognizing some of the best poetry, essays, and fiction written in Texas last year Rod Davis, former Observer editor and a frequent contributor, won the essay category for his piece, “The Fate of the Texas Writer,” published in the July 26, 1996 issue of the Observer. Pam Lange of Dallas placed first in the poetry category, for her poems, “The Dig,” “Summer Whites,” and “Lost in the Forest near Nacogdoches.” And in the category of Novelistic Writing, Cindy Bonner of Yorktown won first place for an excerpt from her novel, Too Close to Heaven. The ceremony was hosted by Robert Compton, Book Pages Editor of the Dallas Morning New,s, and the judges were Tim Redman, Rainer Schulte, and Robert Nelson, all faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas. PEN is the international association of writers created in 1921 by George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, and Joseph Conrad, which promotes literacy and defends freedom of expression around the world. hend undocumented immigrants, in order to stave off a possible “outbreak of some deadly plague.” “The environmental situation they are creating is appalling,” Armstrong, a rancher, told a meeting of commissioners and Border Patrol officials. “They are breaking into houses, they are breaking irrigation lines to drink, and there are wide paths, all littered with garbage, going through our pastures.” As reported in the San Antonio Express-News, Armstrong and his fellow commissioners seek to authorize Kenedy County law officers under a provision of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996, which allows the attorney general to extend immigration-enforcement powers to local police. “If we could take this new piece of legislation and act on it, we might avoid something terrible, like a massive accident or an outbreak of some deadly plague,” said Armstrong. POVERTY WAGES AT U.T. While lawmakers are setting another two-year budget for state universities, two U.T.-Austin library workers have gone public with complaints about their salariesor lack thereof. Staff salaries are so low that some employees qualify for food stamps and universitysponsored charity programs, reports the Austin-American Statesman. Glen Dolfi, a 1977 U.T. graduate who, having worked full-time at the main library for five years, earns $11,652 a year, and Dan Orozco, who makes $18,000 as a supervisor, have approached the Faculty Council with information about salaries. According to U.T. President Robert Berdahl, the university’s top priority during the legislative session is to get more money to pay faculty and staff. HOPWOOD REDUX. It looks as if Hopwood plaintiffs’ attorney Steven W. Smith is gearing up for another lawsuit, in hopes of making it to the Supreme Court this time. And he’s been given a boost by Travis County District Judge Jeanne Meurer, who ruled in February that Smith is entitled to the names of whites and nonpreferred minorities who were denied admission to U.T. Law School in 1995 and 1996. The university denied Smith’s public information request last September, citing an exception to the Open Records Act in the case of information relating to potential litigation. Smith found his original plaintiffs by acquiring a list of rejected applicants and .then writing to them. After the 5th Circuit ruled in Smith’s favor, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case because the admissions procedures in question were no longer in use by the university. Now that the district judge has cleared the way, Smith will presumably start soliciting again, if he hasn’t already. And presumably he’ll file a suit that involves the current admissions procedurebut given the “race-blind” policy mandated as the result of Hopwood, this round will be harder going for Smith. DELAY GETS EXCITED. U.S. Representabrilliant plan to make the world more Republicanby impeaching federal judges whose decisions they disagree with. Johnson, reports the Texas Lawyer, is drawing up impeachment papers for U.S. District Judge S. Fred Biery. After presiding over the preliminary hearing in the Val Verde voting rights case last January, Biery ruled to keep the Democratic incumbents in office pending the result of the upcoming state election contest. It’s not quite clear which impeachable offense Biery committedthe choices being “treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors”but nonetheless DeLay “is excited about” impeaching judges, ac cording to his spokesman Tony Rudy. He’s also set his sights on William Wayne Justice, the hero of Texas prison reform. Frivolous impeachmentbetter than Christmas in Katy. ALLIANCE REPORTS. “We stand against the resignation that is pervasive throughout western culture. The American people know that this is a corporate-dominated society. We don’t have to tell them, they know it. They really know it. Their problem is they don’t know what to do about it. That’s their problem. That’s, our problem.” Larry Goodwyn “I want to tell you something about freedom fighting that I learned from people far wiser than I am: You’ve got to have fun while you’re fighting for freedom. For one thing, we don’t always win, and it might get to be the only fun we’ll ever have. And secondly, it does keep you from giving in to either despair or insanity.”Molly Ivins The Alliance for Democracy has just issued its 107-page “Report of the Founding Convention,” which includes a summary of last’s November’s proceedings in the Hill Country, key organizing documents, and additional articles, including transcripts from the speeches, such as the passages quoted above. Send $10.00 \(infor Democracy, P.O. Box 683, Lincoln, MA 01773. Make checks payable to Alliance for Democracy. Telephone: -WinFORfiggN ,’ Migt 73157;”-Frerh / 47, q. thll 4110 . 111. gt; %NW. , /1’la Jyl T /I/4