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EXCELLENT OBSERVATIONS The Observer is happy to report that several of our writers won Editorial Awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. The awards were announced in June at the annual A.A.N Convention in Phoenix. In the category of publications with circulation under 54,000, First Place, Arts Criticism: Honorable Mention, Investigative Reporting: “What Really Happened to the Class of ’99?” Second Place, Media Reporting: Also, for a story first published elsewhere that subsequently appeared in the Observer, contributing writer Debbie Nathan won Honorable Mention, Investigative Reporting for Sophie Naess won First Place, Illustration, for the art that accompanied Nathan’s story. Michael King and Debbie Nathan were two of only four writers nationally who received two awards. Congratulations! DIALOGUE VALEDICTIONS NEAR AND FAR I am mighty sorry that Louis is leaving the Observer. I have been reading it, off and on, since I was eight years old, back in 1954. My papa subscribed. The Texas Observer has had brilliant moments, but it never has been so consistently acute and informative as in the last few years. The prose, for the most part, is at its best, also. Everything I have seen by Louis is a pleasure for an old journalist-cum English teachercum lawyer to read, for its clarity and precision. \(Of course, in these days of television-speak, nothing is so refreshing as James Sledd’s book reviews excluding his occasional attempts at hillbilly diction, for which, thank God, he has no aptitude. I’d enjoy his use of our language if In my opinion, Michael is as fine a journalist and editor as I have ever seen. Fortunately the magazine is blessed with talented contributors, too, but without Louis, Michael’s already Herculean task will be even more formidable. So I want to thank Louis for the fine work he has done, and Michael for the fine work he will con tinue to do in shoveling the stables of Texas politics, which have become inseparable from international politics. It is easy to become discouraged in the struggle for justice, a humane and fair allocation of the world’s material and intellectual opportunities. You folks help the rest of us find “the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.” John Wheat Gibson Dallas So lying in bed last night, weary from traveling, I picked up the June 9 Observer and started reading Lou Dubose’s editorial “The Phones Were Ringing.” The piece had a curious and lyrical tang, and it was odd that Lou was writing about 1997 when the world in front of us obviously needs a good hammer and a lot of nails. Then I got to the end and realized that Lou was saying goodbye. “Shit,” I said out loud to my wife Lee, “Lou Dubose is leaving the Observer!” But Lee was already asleep. Oh, well. I had my own little epiphany of sorrow. Then I finished reading the T.O., a very fine issue which concentrated on the Border, and I paid special attention to “Gramm & Hutchison vs. El Paso.” The piece detailed how the two Senators from Texas, wearing their lugubrious masks, dissed Enrique Moreno’s appointment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Moreno is from El Paso, Moreno is Chicano, Moreno is a See “Dialogue,” page 15 VOLUME 92, NO. 13 A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES SINCE 1954 Editor: Michael King Assistant Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Associate Editor: Nate Blakeslee Managing Publisher: Charlotte McCann Office Manager: Candace Carpenter Graphic Designer: Julia Austin Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Development Director: Susan Morris Intern: Karem Said Special Projects: Jere Locke, Nancy Williams Contributing Writers: Gabriela Bocagrande, Robert Bryce, Louis Dubose, Michael Erard, James K. Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, Paul Jen nings, Steven G. Kellman, Lucius Lomax, Jeff Mandell, Char Miller, Debbie Nathan, John Ross. Staff Photographer: Alan Pogue Contributing Photographers: Jana Birchum, Vic Hinterlang, Patricia Moore, Jack Rehm. Contributing Artists: Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Sam Hurt, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Ben Sargent, Gail Woods. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Chandler Davidson, Dave Denison, Bob Eckhardt, Sissy Farenthold, John K. Galbraith, Lawrence Goodwyn, Jim Hightower, Maury Maverick Jr., Kaye Northcott, Susan Reid. In Memoriam: Cliff Olofson, 1931-1995 Texas Democracy Foundation Board: Molly Ivins, Bernard Rapoport, Geoffrey Rips, Gilberto Ocatias. The Texas Observer \(ISSN 0040righted 2000, is published biweekly except every three weeks during January non-profit foundation, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Telephone: E-mail: [email protected] .org World Wide Web DownHome page: . Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas. , Subscriptions: One year $32, two years $59, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year; add $13/year for foreign subs. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Indexes: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 1981, The Texas Observer Index. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The Books & the Culture section is partially funded through grants from the City of Austin under the auspices of th’e Austin Arts Commission, and the Austin Writers’ League, both in cooperation with the Texas Commission on the Arts. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JULY 7, 2000