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Houston Breakthrough, July 1980 - August 1980
Page 8
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Houston Breakthrough, July 1980 - August 1980 - Page 8. July 1980 - August 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 27, 2015. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/265.

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 1980 - August 1980). Houston Breakthrough, July 1980 - August 1980 - Page 8. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/265

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, July 1980 - August 1980 - Page 8, July 1980 - August 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 27, 2015, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/265.

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, July 1980 - August 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1980 - August 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Texas
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 33 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL 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 UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 8
File Name femin_201109_562ah.jpg
Transcript EZ2ZZ3EZSJ32 NOXIOUS EMISSIONS CJR misses the point, HCM hits its stride, KTRH brings in the clowns ■BY GABRIELLE COSGRIFF- Lee Hochberg wrote a piece in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review op the sorry state of environmental reporting in Houston's dailies. Two pieces, actually —one on the local coverage of two particular situations, and one on vinyl chloride emissions from abandoned chemical waste pits. Unfortunately, because there are woeful inadequacies in local environmental reporting, any truth in the two pieces was far outweighed by inaccuracies and distortions. The first story dealt with the South Texas Nuclear Project (STNP) and a nuclear waste site at Galveston. Andrew Sansom (spelled Sanson throughout the story) and David Crossley, who was the editor of Houston City Magazine (referred to by Hochberg as "a Houston City editor") wrote a story last year on STNP. When Houston City's publisher, Francois de Menil, refused to print the story, it was published in Breakthrough and Galveston In Between(June 1979). Hochberg correctly reported that out- of-town publications were quicker to cover these stories than Houston's dailies, but he unfairly lumped Houston Post environmental writer Harold Scarlett with Carlos Byars of the Houston Chronicle. Byars is indeed a lightweight, and a booster of the establishment, as evidenced by his remarks in the story: "... I don't see any reason for environmental reporting in Houston. For instance, we cover the petrochemicals industry from the business standpoint very well. . . " Byars expressed a similar nonchalance last summer, when Breakthrough asked him why he'd done so little reporting on STNP. "Some people think we ought to be down there camped on their doorstep, watching every weld. . . . that's not the way this reporter works or this paper works. The presence of Time-Life, News- week etcetera does not impress me." But Scarlett is in a different class. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his enviromental reporting. Without question, he dragged his feet on STNP, but he admits the weaknesses inherent in his job. As he told Hochberg: "Do I cover land use, or chemicals, or nuclear power, or what on any given day? I have to set priorities and sometimes I make mistakes. I'm all alone at the Post. I'm sorry there aren't ten of me." The difference is that Scarlett cares about in- vironmental reporting. Byars, by his own admission, doesn't. The Texas Observer also got short shrift from Hochberg. "In July," he wrote, "the Observer ran a short article on coverage of the STNP called 'Nuclear Oversight.' " Not true. Most of that issue, including the cover story, was devoted to STNP. The March 14, 1980, Observer had an update on STNP, and almost every issue has something on the environment. The Observer, more than any publication in Texas, gives a high priority to environmental reporting. Hochberg's second piece (Official sources—and a "no problem" dump) was by far the more damaging and irresponsible. It concerned vinyl chloride emissions from abandoned chemical waste pits 30 miles south of Houston. Hochberg had written a story on the pits for In Between (August 1979). Hochberg came across a Texas Air Control Board (TACB) report that carcinogenic vinyl chloride was drifting from the pits into an adjoining trailer camp. The report concluded that "people in the nearby residential areas are being exposed to concentrations in excess of a recommended health standard." TACB engineer Dick Rogers told Breakthrough that the quote was taken out of context by Hochberg.California had recommended a standard of 10 parts per billion(ppb),not because of proven health hazards,but because that was as low as they could monitor.There are no federal or Texas guidelines for vinyl chloride emissions.The TACB devised a method of measuring less than 10ppb,but experts could not come up with a safe number.Two of nine readings at the pits were in excess of10ppb(one:14,one:30). "I presented my findings to TACB regional administrator Lloyd Stewart," wrote Hochberg. "The Air Control Board had not informed the residents of the danger, Stewart told me, because 'We didn't want them to panic' " Hochberg reported that Dr. Norman Trieff, codirector of the division of environmental toxicology at the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston, called the board's response "unethical, immoral, and maybe illegal." Trieff "verified" that some of the 600 trailer park residents faced a "definite possibility" of contracting liver cancer or glial brain tumors. At this newspapery Gifford, we prefer to use exact quotes. Or, if we summarize what a person says, we don't summarize it as 'Ya-da-da-da-dah'l" (C) New Yorker HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH