STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 80
• QUALITY EDUCATION should be the first priority with salaries
and programs that will hold good teachers.
• EQUAL RIGHTS are never guaranteed — they must be established
and defended by an active voice.
• FLOOD PREVENTION is impossible without the establishment of
a comprehensive plan and a regional flood control authority.
•MTA must be restructured for public control; public transit must
• URBAN PARKS AND GREENBELTS must be encouraged.
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Show in Arlington last week was ap
parently designed exclusively for male
members. At the same time that a general
discussion on daily and weekly papers
was scheduled, the TPA offered a Special
Ladies Program, A More Beautiful You
Glamour Clinic. "Mary Kay Cosmetics
beauty consultants will teach you the
latest methods of skin care and correct
makeup application. Complimentary
facials for a!! ladies by appointment."
Mouston Police Chief Harry Caldwell is sensitive to criticism of
his department. Never shy of
media attention, Caldwell is fast
with a quotable quote and does not suffer
opposition gladly, or silently. (When invited to speak at the ACLU last year,
Caldwell deftly turned the tables on the
civil libertarians by accusing them of
having "all the sympathy for the brown
and the black, but none for the blue."
When rumblings surfaced about the use
of public funds for the protection of
Mexico City's police chief last year — on
a private visit here —Caldwell's retort was,
better to spend the money than "have to
scrape (the honored visitor) off the sidewalk.")
That's one thing, to have a police chief
who is sensitive to criticism — Justice of
the Peace Al Green suggested on a KTRH
Radio talk show recently that Caldwell
may be ''temperamentally unsuited" for
It's quite another when the news manager of a local TV station comes across as
equally sensitive to criticism of the police
chief. Walt Hawver, manager of news operations at Channel 13, wrote a letter to
Thelma Meltzer, replying to her comments on Caldwell's appearance, January
13, on Issues and Answers. Thorn Dicker-
son, Channel 13 reporter, was commended by Meltzer for asking Caldwell some
tough questions, to which the chief reacted very defensively, according to Meltzer
and several viewers who called Dickerson
after the show.
"I can assure you," wrote Hawver,
"Mr. Dickerson has no personal vendetta
against Chief Caldwell." Meltzer had not
mentioned any vendetta. "Harry is a man
who does not hesitate to complain . . ."
"Harry?" said Meltzer. "Hawver's a
news person. Where does he get off calling the chief "Harry" in a letter to a
viewer? It sure damages your faith in the
objectivity of the media."
Houston City Magazine folded on
Wednesday, February 6. Two days
later, it was back in busines under
The March City was ready to go
when owner - publisher - editor-in-chief
Francois de Menil suspended publication,
as they say in the trade. Financial problems was the official reason given. Lack
of interest on the part of de Menil was
the unofficial word. "I guess Francois got
tired of us," advertising director Paula
Leone said in a televised news report.
Within an hour of de Menil's announcement, the owners of "D" magazine
were making advances, hotly pursued by
Texas Monthly, Lute Harmon (owner of
Cleveland and Monthly Detroit) and several other suitors.
The Dallas Southwest Media Corporation, which owns "D" and Texas
Homes, clinched the deal. Fast work, no
hitch in publishing City. No harm, right?
Wrong. When de Menil gathered the
staff together (some not all), he informed
them they were out of a job, gave them a
month's pay and told them to have their
Gabrielle Cosgriff is an editor of Breakthrough.
desks cleaned out by Friday. Within minutes, he was on a plane to New York,
leaving the staff in a state of shock.
De Menil may have had some cracker
jack business advice, but that was a
crummy way to treat his employees.
But de Menil still has his finger in the
pie. The new owners say he will remain
chairman of the board. "That gives him a
fancy title," said one staffer, "and it keeps
him out of our hair."
tc. . . Harold Scarlett, Post
environmental writer, recently
wrote an article on "Controlling
I coyotes," (Jan. 20.) It was a
fine article—except for the lead. "Senor
coyote," began Scarlett, "called the
deadliest destroyer of livestock now
roaming the range ..." Don't we have
enough barriers to communication without calling the deadliest destroyer of
livestock "Senor?". .... Hearing-
impaired viewers will soon be able to
follow prime time TV programs, thanks
to a "closed captioning system." The
device will be sold by Sears, Roebuck at
approximate cost. NBC, ABC and PBS
will participate. CBS says they have their
own plans John Chancellor, NBC
anchor, said in an interview recently
that Americans have reversed the roles
that TV and print news should play in
informing the public. "Television is good
at some things," said Chancellor. "TV can
take you where you cannot be. What
at, is fact . . . factual stories where you
have a lot of complicated material . . .
The problem in this country is more and
more people are turning to television for
fact, and more and more newspapers
are becoming transmitters of experience
and features. And it's an upside-down
mixture that I think is not very good for
the country." The Times of London, famous for its death notices, has
killed the term 'Ms.' Not in the obituaries, but in a supplement to its style
book, the Fleet Street institution has
announced that it will no longer use that
designation. Times columnist Trevor
Fishlock, in his London Diary, said the
decision was a victory for common
sense. He called Ms. "a faddish middle-
class plaything and far from disguising
the marital status of women, it draws
attention to it." Impeccable logic, Fish-
lock. . .In its 25th anniversary issue (Dec.
28), The Texas Observer celebrated
by asking contributors to expound on
the theme "Heading for the next 25."
Molly Ivins, a trenchant, witty journalist,
former co-editor of The Texas Observer
and currently Rocky Mountain bureau
chief of the New York Times made
some observations on the media. "The
Observer and its ilk are painfully needed.
"The rest of the press," she continued,
"is succumbing to two new dread journalistic evils. Celebrity journalism has
reached such a nadir of idiocy that we
now know more about Suzanne Somers
than the Ayatollah Khomeini. The let-us-
help - you - spend -your - money - trendily
school of journalism gives us endless
stories about the 10 best chili parlors,
barbecue places and chicken-fried steaks.
There are full-scale articles on where to
buy the best caviar, sports cars and 10-
gallon hats. New York magazine once ran
a cover article on sheets—linens versus
silks, flowers versus stripes. Who gives a
rat's-ass about sheets?"
Incidentally, Ivins last month wrote a
piece on Texas Governor Bill Clements
(God Love the Guv) for Houston City, a
magazine which is wholeheartedly committed to the "let-us-help-you-spend-
your-money-trendily school of journal-