ustxtxb_obs_2003_05_23_50_00031-00000_000.pdf

Page 19

by

Environment, continued from page 27 painfully aware of the environmental racism that low-income Latino communities face, yet with more immediate issues, such as race-based police brutality, resources can’t easily be stretched to incorporate environmental activism as a priority. Correa says LULAC would like to form a partnership with environmental groups in order “to provide information on critical environmental justice issues” to the local LULAC councils in Texas. She also has ideas on how the environmental movement can reach Latinos. For starters, it must learn how to communicate with them. “If you want Latinos to be a part of your group, you have to have information in Spanish, and you have to go to the Spanish media,” she says. Group morale was low at the regular ACT planning meeting the Friday before the radioactive waste bill was scheduled to hit the Senate. While committed to offer on the bill, Sierra Club’s Rogers concluded with a sigh: “But these are all going to fail.”The Texas. Legislature’s attack on the environment had extended beyond their worst-case scenario and the reality of the present situation shook even those accustomed to being underdogs. When the radioactive waste bill came to the Senate floor, the debate lasted just over two hours. Senator Duncan, while effective in changing the licensing agency designated in the bill from the Texas Department of Health to TCEQ, failed in an attempt to place a reasonable cap on how much federal waste the bill would allow at the dump. Environmentalists say Duncan had led them to believe that if he was not successful in adding an amendment restricting the amount of federal waste, he would try and block the entire piece of legislation. But instead of fighting the bill, Duncan added himself to the list of disappointments dealt to conservationists this session. One environmental lobbyist said of Duncan afterwards: “I fully expected that when his amendment did not pass he would try killing the bill. But he didn’t. He just gave up.” On the first Wednesday in May,Waste Control Specialists got the nuclear waste disposal bill it paid for, with a roll call vote of 23-6. Amber Novak is a legislative intern for the Observer. SMALL BUSINESS FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR ALL NEW ENTREPRENEURS We specialize in debt consolidation, personal loans and other financial situations. Call 1-866-718-3052 for quality support. indeed, often our ideal geography goes beyond a concept as literal as chronology, can also manage to merge locations reportedly thousands of miles apart. Which is to say, the best geography is often all between the ears. And for me that afternoon, I was skating, something I had loved to do with a particular passion since I was sixthe airy gliding of it, just the feel of a banana-curved hockey stick in hand again. Yet I wasn’t doing it in a cold rink or bundled up in a parka in the numbing sub-freezing temperatures of a pond out in the New England woods, but in the specialness of a balmy spring day in Austin, where Mexican music boomed and where every time I had to bat back with my stick the volleyball knocked astray onto my court, the guys playing beside me had some fun yelling the internationally ecstatic: “Go-o-o-alll!” The scene itself seemed to encapsulate everything I appreciated about Texas, a state that I had journeyed to for a job because its whole climatological and cultural package had always attracted me. You see, I knew that then I had definitely found my own ideal territory, the old best of both worlds, as they say.And I could slip in and out of it easily enough a couple of afternoons a week. And how about this? True, I still can’t believe I had been so stubborn as never to even deign to consider any kind of skating in Texas. \(Perhaps that was for me, a New Englander, my patriotic defense against the knowledge that I myself would never be a real Texan, with a Texan’s own particular patriotism and innate chauvinistic obsession with everything from chicken-fried not only can’t believe that, but also when I flip through the sports pages in Austin, I surprise myself to see that frequently it is not only to check how the legendary Boston Bruins are doing, which, admittedly, has not always been something to rave about in the past few years. I find myself trying as well to keep up with the progress of the relatively new Dallas team, the Stars. I can assure you that granting their play in the revamped, hip black-greenand-gold uniforms was disappointing when they first moved down to the state from Minnesota, in time they turned out to be even more of a surprise than the very new Hurricanes of Carolina or the Panthers started up in, of all places, subtropical Miami, who both made it to the NHL finals recently. The Starsa squad based in often scorching Dallas, where ornamental cactus and undeniable drawling thriveactually won outright Lord Stanley’s Cup several seasons ago. I told you this would turn metaphysical. Peter LaSalle’s novel about Austin, Strange Sunlight, is recommended reading for visitors to the city, according to Frommer’s travel guide. 5/23/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31