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Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08
Page 6
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 6. July 1979 - August 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1515.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(July 1979 - August 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 6. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1515

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 6, July 1979 - August 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1515.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1979 - August 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 6
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_552af.jpg
Transcript Media Matters by gabrielle cosgriff Ben Baldwin, in his capacity as a private citizen and news director of KTRH Radio, and Gebe Martinez, as a private citizen, took the City of Houston to court June 14. They were challenging the legality of a 90-minute closed city council session, arguing that it violated the state's open meetings act. Martinez, who was a KTRH reporter at the time, explained how it came about. "I had been hearing all week that the council planned to meet in executive session to discuss a districting plan (see story p. 9) but it didn't really hit me until that morning as I listened to the news. "I felt very strongly this was not allowed under the open meetings law. I discussed it with our morning news editor Velma Cato and with station manager Hal Kemp. Velma talked it over with Ben. Velma also talked to 'legal experts' in this field, and they encouraged Martinez feels they did get away with it this time. State District Judge Wyatt Heard refused to bar the council from holding future executive sessions on districting. "It's a Catch-22 situation," said Baldwin. "The judge told us 'my court will always be open to you to come back if you have proof.' "Well, when we recorded statements from the mayor and city council, saying they were going to come up with a plan in a secret meeting and then present it to the people, we went back to the judge. "He said he wouldn't see us without the city attorney, and the city attorney wasn't about to go with us voluntarily. That's the Catch-22." "It was ironic," said Martinez. "Just about the time the judge was making his ruling, the council was coming out of its session, and the mayor admitted discussing several plans. He even said he was When John Wayne died, Bob Hope said "We've lost a jumbo in this business," as if bemoaning the demise of a Big Mac. us to fight it. Also, we received support from the local chapter of the ACLU, which offered to file the lawsuit if we did not." "It's the principle," said Baldwin. "I don't think city council is deliberately violating the law. I just don't think the law has been well enough defined. That's why we went to court. "The subject they were discussing in closed session is of vital importance to the citizens of Houston and should not be discussed in closed session. This was exactly what the open meetings law was intended to accomplish." Martinez said she was very concerned about the matter because she was a reporter in San Antonio when they went through the same thing with the Justice Department. "The circumstances were almost identical," she said. "San Antonio was being sued (by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and was ordered to come up with a districting plan because recent annexations had diluted the voting strength of Mexican- Americans. "When they first received the order, they went into executive session to decide if they should go to court or revise the charter. But once that was decided, the whole process was open. As a matter of fact, instead of the council members drawing up the districts themselves, they appointed a citizens charter revision committee to come up with a plan. "San Antonio knew they couldn't get away with something like this if they tried," said Martinez, "the people would have jumped on them immediately. Clearly, Houston's council felt they could try to get away with whatever they wanted." disappointed his own plan, 5-5-1, did not receive as much support as he had hoped." "At our first bite at the apple, we did not have a sympathetic forum," said Don Johnson, attorney for the plaintiffs. "The case is pending. We had a preliminary hearing and we have not yet set the matter for another hearing." On July 19, the Justice Department ruled that only the 9-5 plan submitted by the city could be considered by voters on August 11. "This doesn't affect the thrust of the legal action," said Johnson. "The issue is still the secrecy of the executive session. We have no intentions of abandoning the case at this time." "I hope not," said Martinez. "It will never be too late to open up city council as long as they keep only their own political interests in mind." When John Wayne died (see p. 5) the eulogies came thick and fast. He was a hero, a role-model, the personification of American values. One of the most interesting, if crass, observations came from Bob Hope. "We've lost a big one, a jumbo in this business," said Hope, as if bemoaning the demise of a Big Mac. In a way, it was the most honest remark of all. Wayne was a commodity, a quintessential example of the American way of selling. When we buy toothpaste, we buy sex-appeal. When we buy a Big Mac, we buy the wholesome family image. When we buy John Wayne, we buy the good guy. Whether he realized it or not, Hope said a mouthful. Equality in hurricanes," commented Jan Carson, KTRK TV anchor, as Bob, the first male- named hurricane, came ashore in Louisiana recently. When hurricanes were exclusively female, not only were they described as "she," they were often regarded as risque, sexy ladies by the media. Remember Anita plying her trade in the Gulf . . . Celia wasn Y as big as some of her older sisters . . . Belle's temper . . . teased and threatened . . . and Blanche, perfectly formed. One of these tempestuous females even flirted with the Florida coastline. So it was interesting that after the initial "him-icane" jokes about Bob, the media very quickly got down to describing the hurricane as "it," a part of the overall weather scene. Even the relentlessly jolly John Coleman (ABC's Good Morning America) who talks to a frog on the air, played it straight with Bob. There was still a kind of wistfulness, though, that Bob did not develop into a more destructive force. "Only a weak sister," lamented an ABC TV newscaster, and CBS TV reported that people were "grateful that Bob was more merciful" than other hurricanes. "It's a disgrace to the men of the world," commented a KPRC Radio reporter. ". . .a puny shadow of . . . more violent storms" wrote the Houston Post. The problem seemed to be that there were no cliches to fall back on for male- named hurricanes. The well-worn phrases for the "ladies of the sea" just don't apply to hurricanes named Bob. The morning paper headline (July 12) simply read "Hurricane Bob loses steam over land."; the evening paper was almost an identical twin, "Hurricane loses punch as it howls in over land." and maim.) In a column (July 11) that apparently seeks to be humorous, Doggett unleashes a confused, vicious attack on what appear to be threats to his masculinity. He is "insulted and offended by this sell-out labeling of storms . . . Whoever insisted that a proportionate number of tropical storms must now sprout whiskers certainly couldn't be from around here . . . The storm, for better or worse, is a lady." Doggett is convinced that all things marine are ipso facto feminine. "The sea is a 'she' " he proclaims. So a hurricane named Bob has got to be a little fishy, right? "As if protesting his own injustice," Doggett continues, "Young Robert kicked up . . . Bob, the first manchild of the National Hurricane Center, marks the first time ever that seafarers must wait to receive a gentleman caller. Unless you frequent certain Montrose environs, that doesn't have quite the same ring." So there we have it. The ultimate in stereotyping. All hurricanes are female, therefore Bob's sexual identity is suspect. And if homosexuality is raging, can communism be far behind? Doggett comes through on that one, too. "The tempests of legend, the Carlas and Celias, will now be tempered with a few Freds and Franks. Come to think of it, 'Fidel' would be a fairly appropriate name, but I doubt seriously that the lightweight compromisers who started this whole thing would have enough nerve to pull a really classic one out of the 'windbag.' At any rate, when Bob comes twirling his skirts ashore he will have an effect on the upper Texas coast." Let's hope that Doggett recovers from his tropical depression in time to give a more intelligent report on the next hurricane. After Wojtyla Disco Dance, the next logical step is a disco mass—Sunday Morning Fever, maybe. Imagine the headlines if the same sexual connotations given female-named hurricanes had been applied to Bob. Maybe "Bob can't get it up," or "Bob peters out," or "Impotent Bob slinks ashore." Intriguing as the possibilities are, we have to feel relieved that at least every other hurricane will now be called "it," if Bob is any indication. Who knows, reporters may even get into the habit of describing hurricanes seriously as dangerous natural forces that threaten lives and property. With the possible exception, that is, of Joe Doggett, outdoors writer for the Houston Chronicle. (His column tells you where to find all the furry, fishy, feathered things you can legally kill He's the groove, he's the man, the new pope in the Vatican." It's not great poetry, but the new disco single on Pope John Paul II is the hottest item on the Italian scene this summer. Called Wojtyla Disco Dance, the record is the latest example of papal exploitation. His poems and a play have been published, books have been written about him and movies are being produced. The next logical step is a disco mass—Sunday Morning Fever, maybe. But the media's current infatuation with the head of the Catholic Church should not obscure his unrelenting attacks on women's rights and freedoms. During his recent visit to Poland, the HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH JULY/AUGUST 1979