The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 10, 1978, Image 1

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ext season junior?” K e ||,_ K la <l I'm a sen n! "i rech N lk( ‘ d out of He Battalion 72 No. 28 10 Pages Vol Tuesday, October 10, 1978 College Station, Texas News Dept. 845-2611 Business Dept. 845-2611 Bikers beware Motorists may be out to get bicycle riders in Washington, D.C., but legislation pending in Congress would make sharing the road with traffic at least $25 million easier. See page 7. nmate kept alive Jespite will to die United Press International HUNTSVILLE — Texas prison officials b Monday convicted murderer David l Powell would be force-fed or fed in- venously if necessary to keep him alive execution. 3 owell, 27, a former University of Texas ior student, entered his 13th day of a iger strike in an attempt to die of mal- trition. He hasn’t taken any nourishment, as Department of Corrections spokes- n Ron Taylor said. “His food is on a te before his cell on death row. He is being seen by medical personnel. ien they decide something must be ,ie, it will be done. We will either force dhim or feed him intravenously, what- >r the medical personnel suggest,” he Jpowell’s mother has confirmed that the Id fast was initiated because her son Ints to die [And Powell’s deathwish has placed the DC in the strange position of keeping a Jin alive so that he can be killed, i'l would say it’s ironic, ” said Taylor. In Austin on Sept. 28, Powell was sen tenced to die by lethal injection for the May 18 shooting of officer Ralph Albenado with a Russian-made machine gun. No execution date was set. Powell, who had pleaded innocent by reason of insanity, had asked his attorneys not to oppose the death penalty if he was convicted of the murder. The attorneys disregarded Powell’s request, however, and argued unsuccessfully for their client to be sentenced to life in prison rather than to death. During his trial, psychiatrists testified Powell had tried to portray himself as a Charles Manson-style leader and delved deeply into drugs. Powell was transfered Friday from Au stin to the Texas Department of Correc tions to await execution. Travis County Sheriff Raymond Frank said Powell had not eaten any solid food during the five days prior to his transfer to Huntsville. He still refuses to eat,” Taylor said. He has had nothing at all. It’s been quite a while.” PVo gravity in Columbus' day' iMan claims earth is flat 2, 242-| « of 20 yard United Press International JlANCASTER, Calif. — Charles K. ■hnson swears he is on the level. The president of the 1,500 member In- fcmational Flat Earth Society spends his ne trying to prove the world is “flat as a nny.” One of the society’s super-heroes is Jiristopher Columbus. “Contrary to the history books, we claim ilumbus proved the world flat,” said Johnson, 54. At the time Columbus made his voyage eryone believed the world was a ball — Jjxcept for Columbus. He was not one of )em. They were afraid they would fall off edge of the earth because it was round. But flat. I Columbus is one of our heroes because ledidn t fall off— gravity wasn’t invented pt Gravity was invented by a priest in ngland, Johnson said. “There was no avity in Columbus’ day. Every year around Columbus day,” hnson said, “there is a great con- jyersy about the earth’s shape. The average person believes the world round because modem science says so,” hnson said. ' But it’s just not true. Col umbus did not fall off'so that proves it.” Johnson’s Flat Earth Society boasts 1,500 members worldwide. "Most live in the United States, but we have many others in 167 countries. We publish the Flat Earth Quarterly with the objective to restore the world’s sanity,” Johnson said. “We consider this the world’s most superstitious age,” he said. “From integra tion to going to the moon, the world is a vast and complex place. We try to get people to use their minds logically.” But what about the space shots? Mil lions remember live pictures from space showing Earth spinning in the distance. “The whole thing was a science fiction TV movie, Johnson said. “We aren’t ac cusing the government of anything. The whole thing is a plot by Nazi-German sci entists. They are the nucleus of the U.S. space program.” Surprisingly, the flat earth concept is usually met with polite interest, rather than rudeness or hysteria. "There is a lurking sanity in the Ameri can public’s mind, no matter what the American space program claims,” Johnson said. “People don’t condemn us.” Battalion photo by Lee Roy Leschper Jr. Speaking of ‘Tarred out* These rolls of tar were sitting out by Heaton Hall. They will be melted for the roof of Legett Hall, now being renovated. aids I® 2RY Energy problems bug A&M, computer , October , October , October October If October October H October II October 1 October p.m. i By MARILYN FAULKENBERRY Battalion Staff As energy costs continue to climb and availability dwindles, the Texas A&M University System has been forced to become more energy con scious and has purchased a compu ter to help. The University’s goal for this year is *° knock 10 percent from the energy budget — about $1 million. So the system is centralizing temp erature control, removing light nibs and trying to build new build ings with more energy-efficient de signs. Many of the buildings on campus were built when there was little concern for saving energy and a lot 0 work is required to make them ni° re e fficient. University Physical Plant officials said. Logan B. Council, director of the ysical Plant Division of the Uni- Ve *, s *y System Facilities Planning 30 Construction Department, said io^ erVation e ff°ris were begun in 1972-1973. Most of the University’s efficiency P r o lems are with air conditioning l n an effort to consume less e ’ iLe University bought a com- P u erized control and management ys er n in 1975. It is designed to urn off cooling and heating systems W Th are n °l needed. ne system was “substantially completed in 1978, but many prob- e ms have kept the system from ei ng put into full use, said Gerald Scott, manager of engineering and desgn for facilities. Problems in clude equipment malfunctions and difficulties in running programs, Scott said. He said the system will be in full use after the first of 1979, and about 42 or 43 buildings will be controlled by it. “It’s like a shake-down cruise for a ship,” Scott said. “There’s no doubt it will save energy.” The computer cost about $1.2 million and Scott es timated it will take about three years to pay for itself once it is in full operation. Scott said the computer cannot control thermostats in individual buildings. But it can monitor the temperature in individual class rooms in programmed buildings, he said, to discover if complaints that classrooms are too warm or too cold are valid. Its main function, however, is to start and stop sys tems. Physical Plant officials have faith that their computer will increase ef ficiency. But they say the real prob lems lie in the invidual systems on campus. “Before we can have effective energy control, we must improve the systems themselves,” Scott said. He cited the Oceanography and Meteorology Building, Rudder Tower and Zachry Engineering Center as great energy users. He said work will soon begin to rework the cooling and heating systems in those buildings to make them as energy-efficient as their designs al low. He said there are problems with systems all over campus. “We ll just have to take them one at a time,” he said. Council said since 1973 a consid erable number of lights have been disconnected in classrooms and hallways. “People don’t realize the differ ence,” he said. No areas are left dark, he said, but “extra” lights have been removed. He said fluorescent lights and incandescent lights have been repalced with multi-vapor lights where they are “practical and convenient.” Multi-vapor lights are more effi cient and emit a yellowish light that is “kinder to the eye,” Council said. The Physical Plant is also pushing for more energy efficient designs in new buildings. Skylights save light and openable windows allow fresh air to enter a building, a nice feature if the days ever come when energy is expensive enough to warrant opening windows certain times of the year, plant officials and ar chitects on campus said. But the Board of Regents and the administration do not necessarily follow the plant’s recommendations and many of their decisions are made contrary to opinions of ar chitects and engineers, plant offi cials said. Even if the University sends its power to inefficient buildings, the plant that generates that power is quite efficient. A utilities official, who prefers not to be identified, said the University plant is about 43 percent efficient, compared to the national average of 35 percent. The University Utilities Plant generates all of the power used on campus. A 20-megawatt tie-in with Brazos Electric Power Cooperative prevents a major power outage in case one of the generators on cam pus goes out, he said. The University plant bums only natural gas and recycles waste heat to increase efficiency, the official said. He said in a few years the Uni versity must decide whether to get a new generator or buy some power from outside sources. “We’ve had more natural gas available in the last few years than we’ve ever had,” the official said. He said as many consumers con serve and move to cheaper fuel sources gas becomes more abun dant, even if at a higher price. Physical Plant officials say they don’t worry about a shortage of natural gas in the near or even dis tant future. He predicts that Texas A&M will not convert to any other fuel source for at least 20 years “and probably longer than that.” Scott said if conversion to any fuel other than gas and oil ever does happen, it will involve mass conver sions all over campus and the purchase of much new equipment. Nor do Physical Plant officials say Texas A&M will go back to the days of open windows and classes scheduled during the cool times of the day. “We don’t feel like we ll be faced with such a shortage of primary fuels that we’ll go back to the days of pre-air conditioning,” Scott said. “The new buildings just aren’t made for it and again massive and costly renovations would be involved to open the windows.” H e said that would be a step backward and he thinks better al ternatives will be available. “Who can really say what will be discovered or what technology will come up with?” Scott asked. But the University outlook for a long time to come is to conserve — and to be prepared to pay a pre mium price for the convenience of natural gas. Land tax proposal tabled by Bryan By LYLE LOVETT Battalion Reporter The Bryan City Council tabled a pro posal from the city’s Board of Equalization Monday that unsold developed lots be taxed on raw land values rather than actual market value. Developers contend that improvements are a service to the city and should not be subjected to increased taxes. Mayor Richard Smith said that under present policy, land valuation goes up as developers improve lots and pointed out that land is to be taxed at fair market value according to the state constitution. Smith said the Internal Revenue Ser vice considers unsold developed lots as in ventory of developers. He suggested that this inventory be taxed on the market value of the land as a unit rather than on the value of individual lots, as is the pre sent system. Smith said his plan would re sult in slightly lower property taxes for de velopers, perhaps encouraging develop ment within the city. Council members said the Board of Equalization’s plan also would encourage development within Bryan. Smith agreed, but spoke against the idea. “H ow far do you go to encourage growth?” he said. “What about the people who are already here and didn't get that deal? They (the tax office) should appraise lots according to the state constitution.” City Secretary Joe Evans said the ideas discussed in Monday’s council meeting would be presented to the tax office. After the second and final reading of an ordinance making appropriations for fiscal year 1978-79, the council passed the $32.9 million budget. Last year’s budget totalled $29.2 million. The council again held a public hearing on the budget but, like the Sept. 25 hearing, there was no comment from the handful of residents present. The council also voted to keep last year’s property tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year — 62 cents per $100 valuation at 80 percent appraised value. In other action, the council adopted a resolution to help pay for a railroad plan ning study in conjunction with the City of College Station and Brazos County. The council also agreed to extend a con tract with the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency, providing the Neal Child Development Center with appropriations of $11,000 for next year. The building used by the center is owned by the city. The center pays $500 rent each month, leaving it a net $5,000 for operation costs. Bryan schools lose $700,000 in taxes By ROY BRAGG Battalion Reporter In the last 40 years, the Bryan Indepen dent School District has lost nearly $700,000 in delinquent taxes and recent figures show the amount of 1978 unpaid taxes up from last year. Glen Brewer, tax assessor-collector for the district, told the school board Monday night that uncollected taxes date back to 1939 and if records had been kept prior to that year the figure probably would be even higher. In 1939 the Texas Legislature negated all delinquent taxes up to that time. Brewer said that as of Aug. 31, delin quent taxes for 1978 constitute 13.2 per cent of the total taxes collected this year. He said delinquent taxes equalled 10 per cent of the total tax revenues in 1977. He advised the board to adopt a definite plan for collection of delinquent taxes be fore the district begins its independent collection program in mid-1979. In past years, the City of Bryan has col lected school taxes for the district. School Board President Woody Hum phries explained that the district’s method of collection would be “fair, reasonable and firm.” The board also authorized Superinten dent Wesley Summers to negotiate two contracts concerning the leasing of two district properties. The first contract is an extension of a lease for part of Neal School with The Brazos Valley Community Action Agency. The BVCAA currently runs a day care center there. The other contract is a lease with the Brazos Valley Development Council for use of one classroom and two offices. The rooms will be used by the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act programs of the BVDC. The CETA programs consist of job training and instruction for the un employed. The board also registered its concern over a proposed reclassification of member schools by the University Interscholastic League — the governing body for high school arts and athletic competition. The re-alignment would place Bryan High School in a district with schools in Tyler, Richardson, Temple, Killeen and Texar kana. Another proposal the UIL is consid ering would create a 5A conference with similar districts. Summers said that either district would place Bryan at a disadvantage competi tively because of the distance involved in traveling. Summers also said students in volved in district competition would have to miss two days of class whenever travel to Texarkana would be involved. Board member Travis Bryan Jr., chair man of the building committee, reported that construction on additions to Bryan High athletic and choir facilities are 90 percent complete. The board authorized payment of $55,000 to Jordan and Wood, contractors for the additions. The board also au thorized payment of $740 to architect M.O. Lawrence for the project. Davis murder trial begins in Houston United Press International HOUSTON — Attorneys for T. Cullen Davis attempted Monday to link his es tranged wife through a series of loans and financial transactions to a possible murder plot aimed at the Fort Worth industrialist. Davis faces trial on solicitation of capital murder charges resulting from an alleged conspiracy aimed at killing the judge pre siding over his stormy divorce proceedings with his wife, Priscilla. The pre-trial action began developing on a defense motion aimed at finding out particulars in Mrs. Davis’ financial deal ings during the last two years. Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, one of the Davis defense team lawyers, hammered away at possible links Mrs. Davis might have to FBI informant David McCrory. The prosecution alleged in an earlier hearing in Fort Worth — before the trial was moved to Houston — that Davis paid McCrory $25,000 to relay to a professional killer for the death of Judge Joe Eidson. The defense move was designed to dis cover what possible evidence prosecutor Jack Strickland of Fort Worth might have to use in the trial which begins Oct. 16. Strickland objected repeatedly to Haynes’ approach and pleaded with State District Judge Wallace “Pete” Moore to curb the line of questioning. “I don’t have a cast of characters in this play. There’s no way I can pass judgment,” the perplexed Moore said, as name after name was brought up in the questioning. “I have no basis for assumption. I don’t know what he’s after. But this is the place to do it in pre-trial,” Moore said. The defense claimed the questions were sparked by the Fort Worth testimony of Pat Burleson, a man to whom Mrs. Davis had loaned money on several occasions. Before concluding his examination of Mrs. Davis, Haynes asked her point-blank if she had ever plotted to have her hus band slain. “No, sir,” she replied. Davis, who has been held in the Harris County jail since late last month, con ferred from time to time with defense lawyer Phil Burleson of Dallas. His current girlfriend, Karen Master, sat in the small courtroom during the proceedings. The pre-trial hearing began shortly be fore 11 a.m. with a reading of the indict ment against Davis and a question of pleading from Moore. “I plead not guilty,” Davis responded, then returned to his seat.