THE NEWSPAPER OF
MONTROSE D (Cmwnuniftj puaUefpng ttiuiipmiu D p R | D/\Y February 2, 1990 D ISSUE 484
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Houston City Council is scheduled to vote this coming Wednesday »n whether to confirm
Mayor Kathy Whitmire's ap-
pointment of Elizabeth "Betsy" Watson os police chief, replacing resigned Chief Lee
Brown. Watson, named on Jan.
19 by the mayor to head the
Houston Police Department, is
the firel woman ever to be appointed police chief of a major
While many feminists are
hailing the appointment some
other minority groups say they
are taking a "wait and see" attitude. Some soy their assessment will hinge on who is
named hv Watson to other top
The Police Advisory Board, a
panel representing interests of
citizen minorities to the department, is expected to meet with
the new chief this month, according to Joe Thornton, a
member of that board and
Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus' police committee liaison. Annise Parker, who
represents the Community Alliance i if Houston on the board,
said Watson was the
favorite of two proposed recommendations by the board
for police chief.
Watson has made HPD history twice before, as the department's first woman captain in
1984 ami the l.rsr woman deputy chief in 1987. Watson, 40,
joined the department in 1972.
Would-be library may be torn down
The original proposed site for the
Montrose Branch Library, vacant
and boarded up for years since the
library department's decision to
move the branch into the Campanile Center at 41(1(1 Montrose, may
finally be demolished. The former
strip shopping center, located at
the corner of Mandell and Richmond, has reverted to the city's
dangerous building department,
and asbestos abatement proceedings (required before demolition
or salel are in process.
David Bates, director of public
information for tbe Houston Public Library, said the city plans to
sell the siteon the commercial real
estate market. The market, how
ever, has been deemed currently
"inappropriate'' for sale ot the
property. Bates said
"It's kind of up in the air right
now," he said.
The problem is that the proper
ty was purchased several years
ago, when real estate values (and
pricesi were considerably higher
than today. Also, the buildings
themselves are now inadequate
for public use. according to Len
Radoff, head of Library Branch
Services. City council requires
building sites to be inspected for
asbestos before they are razed or
the lots sold, Hates said. He said
Radoff had informed him the proceedings were taking place at the
Mandell site. Other buildings in
the vicinity, also belonging to the
city, were recently demolished.
Bates said since the buildings
are no longer a branch library facility, they are now under the administration of another city department and hewas unsureofthe
property's ultimate fate. Dangerous Buildings, which has jurisdiction, is a branch of the Housing
and Community Development Department. That department's
spokesperson, Alvin Hebert, also
said he didn't know whether the
city would sell the land or retain it
while market conditions indicate
the sale would result in a loss.
Hebert said he also did not
know1 if or when the building
would be demolished.
The Montrose Branch of the
Houston Public Library opened
March 5, 1989 in a remodeled former church building in the stylish
Campanile, near the corner of
Montrose and Richmond.
AIDS patient receives first legal marijuana
Group calls for
resignation of top
AP LASERPHOTO BY DOUG SCHRES
Prescription pot is displayed in the hands ol Steve, tke first AIDS patient in the U.S. to obtain a prescription The marijuana r.
tobacco cigarettes and comes in e standard prescription bottle.
AUSTIN (AP)-About 30 gay
rights activists Jan. 19 demonstrated outside the Texas Department of Heallh to protest what
they described as "right wing" tactics in state AIDS funding and demanded the resignation of the
agency's top (wo officials
The group, AIDS Coalition to
Unleash Power (ACT UP), said it
was angered by a recent interpretation by the Health Department
on state funding lor AIDS aervic-
Earlier, the Health Department
soul stale funding could not he given to groups that advocate illegal
activity or lobby for the repeal of
the state's sodomy law. Health of-
continued page 4
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP)-A
San Antonio AIDS patient last
weekend started smoking his first
supply of government-grown,
medically prescribed marijuana.
Steve, who asked that his last
name he withheld to preserve his
privacy, received approval Dec. 13
from the Pood and Drug Adminis-
tration to use marijuana as "an
investigational new drug"
He is the first person in the na
tion with acquired i
ciency syndrome to be approved to
use the drug.
Bob Randall. 42, a Washington,
D.C, glaucoma patient, in 1976
was the first person in the country
to get legal approval to use marijuana medically.
Randall, who heads the Alliance
for Cannabis Therapeutics, was in
San Antonio Jan. 26 to help Steve
"I am on AZT (zidovudine is a
drug used to slow the progress of
AIDS), and my doctor agrees with
me that the only olher medical ion
I need is marijuana to control the
nausea and vomiting so I can deal
with other problems," said Sieve.
in 19H5 and packaged in 1986.
"It's dry and harsh. I'd say it is
pungent without being fragrant!'
Steve said he has been trying for
2 1/2 years to get marijuana legally. He was arrested last March on
a charge ol aggravated possession
of the drug.
His trial is scheduled for February, li convicted, he faces a possi-
1 ble five-year prison sentence.
Community Alliance re-elects Coleman, other officers
By HIL1.IK DUNCAN
The Montr,,..,- Voice
Community Alliance of Houston
Tuesday elected officers for the coming year and discussed the effective
neas of their involvement in theeam
paigns of Beverly Clark and Anthony Hall. Montrose
businessperson Marion Coleman
was unanimously reelected as president of the Alliance and six incumbents were returned lo the board of
trustees, with only one new trustee.
Annise Parker, coming on the board
Coleman appointed John Milinn
to fill Ihe vacant position of ireasur
Several candidates were present
or had sent representatives lo ihi
meeting. In attendance k
Stone (running for oSth Disincl
Court), Ray Hill (Justice of the
Peace, Precmcl I. Place 2), Katy
Cauldwell (Harris County Treasurer), Leslie Perez (Harris County
Democratic Chair) and Sylvia Ayers
(incumbent. Precinct SS Judge).
Nikki Van Hightower. running for
State Treasurer in the wake of Ann
Richards' bid for governor, sent a
representative and is seeking the
Ed Jamail. vice president, gave examples of the group's effectiveness
in the last election. He said that Beverly Clark, who unseated Jim
Westmoreland, had only screened
with a couple of groups when
Westmoreland made his remark
about renaming Houston's Intercontinental Airport "Nigger Interna-
On the Sunday before theelection.
she called the Alliance because she
had no press packets, no headquarters and no room to hold a victory
party. John Nix, on Ihe board of the
Alliance, tracked Clark down campaigning in a black area of town,
Jamail said. Nix then told her that
she would be more likely to convert
votes in the white area of town, and
took her in hand.
A group from the Alliance then
wrote her campaign acceptance
speech, said Jamail. and helped ar-
range a place Ibr her victory party.
"We Hun r expect anything in return." said Jamail, "nor would we
ask for it It was just very satisfying
to help a qualified candidate."
In a race in which the endorsed
candidate did nol win, thai of the
1 Sth Congressional I >istrict, Jamail
pointed out the effectiveness ol the
organisation in the area it targeted.
The Alliance was asked to work the
ta in the westernmost
section ofthe sprawling district In
those precincts in the general elec
lion Washington had garnered 436
more votes than Hail, explained
Jamail The Alliance then mobilized
block walkers who papered the district with door hangers and talked
wilh anyone who was home.
In the run off. Hall wound up wilh
56 more votes than Washington in
the targeted precincts, said Jamail
He then said that Washington could
be expected to serve the people well
and that with Hall on the Metro
On Feb. 22, the Alliance will be
voting oh the endorsements for the
March balloting. Screening of the
candidates will begin immediately,
said Jamail, with the group endorsing candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
"Of coursed he said, "we only endorse if people screen with us"
He explained that the
process was designed to weed out
people who had prearranged answers designed for "special I merest"
groups, leaning instead on questions of the philosophic grounding
of the candidates. The candidates
with the highest human rights profiles are the candidates endorsed
He pointed out that specific answers are nol always indicative of
the candidate's human rights profile. One candidate who sought the
group's endorsemeni recently was
asked what the top health problem
in the area was. He replied. "Mosquitoes." As it turned out, the candidate
was from Denver Harbor and the top
health concern in that area certainly
was mosquitoes that carried the St.
Loais encephalitis virus.
The rest of his screening showed
that he had a high sense of human
rights, said Jamail. and he was endorsed by the Alliance.
Speaking on the progress of the
Police Advisory Board. Annise
Parker, the Community Alliance
representative, said that in the wake
ofthe string of events that included
the Ida Del any shooting, the board
was gearing up lo be a more visible
force in Houston. "It will be a much
more active group than we have had
in the past." she said.
Parker gave a run-down of the
sorts of action the board had taken
so far, which included analyzing
and reviewing an arbitration system, checking into the workings of
the "cantina squad" and examining
the difference between the policy of
the police department in the handling of arrests of PWAs and the actuality.
She also informed the meeting
that the mayor had asked the board
to give her criteria that they would
like to see met ill hiring the new po
lice chief. They also put in two
names of people they would have
recommended, said Parker, hul they
were told they were not to recommend so they removed the names.
"The top name nil the lis!." said
Porker, "was Elizabeth Watson"
Parker said the meelings were
open to the public.
('(immunity Alliance mem her
Charles Armstrong asked what had
been discovered in their examination of the "cantina squads," those
groups responsible for the bar raids
that include raids on gay bars.
Parker replied that the board had
found the raids to he in violation ol
stated policy, but that was not why
they have slowed down. The reason.
she Said, is there is no money in the
budget for ad hoc police action She
said the raids were inefficient and
Candidate Katy Cauldwell asked
about the board's involvement in investigating and making recommendations about violence at abortion
clinics by "right to life" radicals.
Parker said that problem was "be
At the end of the meeting, the
names of the newly elected trustees
were announced. They are Cathy
Lenahan. Bettie Naylor. Dottie Newton. Nix, Barry Mandel, Parker and
The nexlmeeting ofthe Commune
ty Alliance of Houston willbeThurs-
diiv. Feb 22, al the Bristol Bar and
Grill. ;i Greenway Plaza, at 6:30 p.m.
is on AIDS
The Thurgood Marshall School of
Law and the National Association
of Social Workers Texas ore sponsoring a conference on "HIV/
AIDS in The Sunbelt: Special Issues in the Black Community" on
Friday, Feb. 9, 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.,
on the campus of Texas Southern
Since the initial description of
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the accumulation
of medical knowledge about it has
been astounding But as ihe full
picture has been unfolding, many
special legal and social issues facing the black community in the
Sunbelt have been overlooked or
ignored, say the organizers of this
conference. The conference will focus on three of these issues, male-
to-male transmission, drug use
and children—extended families.
demographics, the vast number of
minority AIDS cases in the Sunbelt is due to male-to-male transmission. This poses unique prob-
con tinned page 4