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7 01T OF HAPPINESS GROWNUP GIFTS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES NEW STORE NORTH SOUTH RESEARCH E. RIVERSIDE STASSNEY 832-8544 443-2292 502-9323 441-5555 707-9069 NEW STORE!! SAN MARCOS 312 392-4596 NEW STORE EAST CENTRAL EVERS MILITARY WEST AVE 654-8536 822-7767 521-5213 333-3043 525-0708 NEW STORE! IN AUSTIN CESAR CHAVEZ 3111 L CESAR CHAN/ \(East 0 Plemortt Vollet 247-2222 Serving the Austin community since 1975 SAVE AND SUSTAIN BOOK-WOMAN Help save an endangered species: The independent women’s bookstore For details go to SPREAD THE WORD! Friend’s name: Street address: City/ST/ZIP: Contact us and we’ll send a FREE Observer to your friends! eTexas 7Ohserve 17.4.;4a.-34,# f1 3.1,06t *4,4144,ti’1 g ,ft:%, 1?1 1.4.1721,1: _ .11014,* For your referral you’ll get the option to ex tend your Observer subscription for one year at a discounted rate! Go online at or detach and mail form below and any additional names to: The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 as an industrial park. All this transpired around the same time Sugar Land was negotiating a two-year, $180,000 contract with the Austin lobbying firm Hillco Partners to push for legislation aimed at relocating Central, paving the way for the city to acquire the prison’s remaining 326 acres for an industrial park and airport expansion. The result was a bill signed into law last June calling for a feasibility study to determine Central’s future. Earlier this year Sugar Land’s City Council authorized $40,000 to participate in the study. Current warden Ernest Guterrez Jr. says he has no idea what the future holds for Central. When people ask, he tells them it’s business as usual. That’s not entirely true. The rush of activity is not what it used to be since the prison’s major agricultural operations were transferred five years ago to an 11,000-acre ranch in Burleson County. Even the searcher’s desk, where inmate movement was monitored, often sits unmanned because of staffing shortages, and while the routine inmate counts are still conducted eight times a day, the familiar siren was silenced after neighbors complained. The prison’s proximity to residential areas has also meant the end for tracking dogs and daily mock manhunts. Otherwise, life at Central goes on. A bus from Huntsville still arrives each morning, as it always has, to drop off one batch of convicts and pick up another, and in the early morning dark, field bosses still saddle up their horses and lead the line force out to work the remaining fields, much as they did in my grandfather’s day. A native Texan, Patsy Sims is the author of The Klan and Can Somebody Shout Amen! She lives in Washington, D.C. JUNE 13, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15