The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, July 11, 1979, Image 1

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Wednesday, July 11, 1979
College Station, Texas
News Dept. 845-2611
Business Dept. 845-2611
Fair to partly cloudy today with a high of 96 and a
low of 75. No rain mentioned.
Oilspill edges toward Texas,
may threaten resort beaches
United Press International
CORPUS CHRISTI — Federal officials
said Tuesday a gigantic oil slick, growing
by 30,000 barrels a day and projected to
become the worst in history, was edging
north from Mexico toward the Texas coast
and would threaten resort beaches and
shrimp sprawning grounds by July 23.
As the slick — 300 mile long by 25 miles
wide — moved northward at 10 miles a
day, the U.S. National Response Team,
comprised of representatives from several
concerned federal agencies, set up head
quarters in Corpus Christi to plot strategy
for keeping the oil off the beaches and out
of the bays where sealife spawns.
In addition, the Regional Response
Team — made up of state and local officials
— was mobilized and scheduled a meeting
in New Orleans Friday to discuss the situ
“It’s hard to say with any certainty
exactly where it’s going to go right now,”
said Craig Hooper of the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Adminis
tration in Boulder, Colo., in charge of ef
forts to track the huge oil slick.
The slick is being fed by an oil well
which blew out June 3 off Mexico’s Yuca
tan Peninusula. The well has been spew
ing 1.2 million gallons of oil a day, feeding
the slick which ranges from 14-inch thick
near the well to a mere sheen as it spreads
Officials say it may be the end of August
before slant holes can be completed to fill
in the well. By that time the spill was ex
pected to surpass the largest in history,
which occurred when the supertanker
Amoco Cadiz dumped 1.5 million barrels
of crude oil into coastal waters off France
beginning in March 1978.
Hooper said an initial NOAA flyover on
Friday led to a projection that the oil slick
would reach the mouth of the Rio Grande
within two weeks. Beyond lies one of the
nation’s fastest growing resorts. South
Padre Island, which stretches 100 miles up
the coast to Corpus Christi’s Padre Island
National Seashore.
“Now we’re not sure it’s going to come
ashore yet. We’re saying it should reach
there (the U.S.-Mexico border) by the
23rd,” Hooper said. Hooper said currents
and winds determine where the oil will
“Now it’s heading north right toward
the Texas border. A lot of it is close to
shore, and if there is a wind coming from
the Southeast — and often this time of
year there is — it’s possibe some of it
could go ashore in there. I don’t want to
predict landfall. I’m just telling you the
Dick Whittington, deputy director of
the Texas Department of Water Resources
said he believed it “very likely” some of
the oil would reach Texas shores.
“They don’t even have it shut 08 yet,”
Whittington said. “By the time it’s over
with, it’s going to be the biggest oil spill in
history. We are trying to devise some
measures to cope with it.”
Whittington said state officials should
coordinate with the federal agencies,
headed by Coast Guard Cmdr. Joe Sites of
Corpus Christi.
Consol implements
tax relief measures
Rolling along to class
Reed Grabowski needed an easier, faster way to get to class, and he
didn’t own a bicycle so he put his old pastime of skating to good use. “It
\ really became practical when they came out recently with these new
outdoor roller skates,” he said. Grabowski is a senior in Building Con
struction. Battalion photo by Clay Cockrill
Battalion Staff
The A&M Consolidated School District
voted Monday night to implement tax re
lief measures authorized by the last legis
lative session totaling an estimated
$696,477 beginning with the 1979 tax
The board increased the old age exemp
tion on the market value of property for
homeowners 65 and over to $20,000. Pre
fer the
point ic;{Overcrowding, isn’t the cause’
ncreased prison violence
due to age, statistician says
United Press International
HOUSTON — A state statistician Tues
day told a federal judge the declining av-
age age of inmates — not more and more
^ercrowding — has led to increased vio-
nce in the Texas prison system.
Dennis Barrick, a Texas Department of
orrections research analyst, disputed
ividence submitted by the Justice De-
lartment suggesting overcrowding was a
fiajor factor in rising discipline problems.
I haven’t found — and I have looked
and tried to find — an association be-
)veen the number or density of inmates
tad increased misconduct,” Barrick told
“I’m finding the younger people are ex-
ilaining it. We’re sending more and more
oung people to prison.”
Barrick testified in an inmate lawsuit,
tow in its sixth month of non-jury trial be-
ore U.S. District Judge William Wayne
ustice, demanding major court-ordered
reforms in the nation’s most populous
prison system.
Inmates David Ruiz and O.D. Johnson,
on behalf of 25,000 prisoners in 17 prisons,
charge overcrowding, inadequate rehabili
tation, poor security, abuse by guards and
inmates and bad health care and food
violate their rights.
The Justice Department, assisting the
inmates’ own lawyers, has presented
statistics showing that as the Texas prison
population doubled between 1969 and
1979, the number of major disciplinary in
cidents increased 600 percent.
Barrick said Justice Department num
bers during the period might be correct,
but he challenged their interpretation.
He said his studies suggest that, at the
same time the population has increased,
the average age of inmates has declined
and that younger inmates, not increased
densities of them, were more violent.
Barrick said the 40.47 percent increase
in the number of inmates younger than 28
during the 5-year period contributed to
increased violence because younger in
mates tend to be less receptive to author-
“Density explained the least amount of
variance in (the number) of assaults,” Bar
rick said.
Justice Department lawyer David Van-
derhoof said studies by University of Texas
researchers showed overcrowding, in
creased violence, homosexual rape,
suicides and health problems.
Assistant Texas Attorney General Richel
Rivers said the state has admitted its pris
ons are overcrowded but denies over
crowding alone constitutes cruel and un
usual punish, ent prohibited by the con
“We’ve seen no studies that support the
thesis that overcrowding causes an uncon
stitutional level of harm,” she said. “We
don’t think it does.”
Lawyers for both sides expect the trial,
which started Oct. 2 but was interrupted
for three months, to continue at least into
yiously, the old age exemption
school district was $15,000.
Under the new exemption, a home with
an original market value of $40,000 would
be considered as having a market value of
$20,000 for taxation purposes. At the 1978
tax rate of $1.27 per $100 valuation and at
the assessed ratio of 80 percent, taxes on
the house would be $203.20. Under the
previous exemptions and the same tax rate
and ratio, the house would have'a market
value of $25,000 with taxes totaling $254.
The school board has yet to set the tax
rate for this year.
The old age exemption approved
Monday by the school board is $5,000 over
what is outlined by H.B. 1060, Superin
tendent Bruce Anderson said.
H.B. 1060, approved by the legislature
during the last session, is called the tax
relief ammendment.
~ It provides an old age exemption of
$10,000 on the market value of property
for homeowners 65 or over. It also created
a $5,000 homestead exemption for all
other homeowners. In addition, the bill
creates an open-space land exemption, an
optional exemption for agricultural land
based on the net value most beneficial to
the owner.
The board voted to implement the
open-space land exemption this year and
to extend the deadline for filing for the
exemption to 5 p.m. July 23.
The board took the action on the rec
ommendation of Superintendant Bruce
Anderson and his staff following a presen
tation by Dr. Donald Ney, assistant
superintendent for finance for the school
district. Ney’s report estimated the impact
of H.B. 1060 on the revenue available to
the district.
H.B. 1060 also sets aside state funds for
reimbursing districts for the local revenue
According to Ney’s report, the esti
mated loss in local revenue due to old age,
homestead, and open space exemptions
totals $696,477. The maximum reim
bursement available to the district through
state funds would total $663,292, leaving a
revenue loss of $33,185.
Researchers hope to find
diabetes’ relationship
to vascular disease
Battalion Stall
Researchers at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine are studying
problems diabetics have in microvaseular circulation and how vascular complica
tions can be stopped.
Dr. Robert J. Morff, an instructor in the department of medical physiology, said
80 percent of the deaths in diabetic patients result from vascular malfunctions.
The malfunctions also cause a higher incidence of blindness in diabetics due to the
breakdown of small blood vessels in the retina of tire eye.
Vascular disease almost always occurs in diabetic patients, making them more
prone to complications such as gangrene.
Dr. Harris Granger, department head, and Morff have been conducting re
search to determine the relationship between diabetes and vascular disease and
why diabetics are more likely to have vascular disease.
“We are trying to determine exactly what changes occur in the vascular system
of diabetics, both structural and chemical,” Morff said.
The researchers are looking for some reason the vascular disease occurs in
diabetic patients. Morff gave an example of hormone production. If they can find a
relationship between hormone production, or lack of it, which would cause vascu
lar malfunctions and connect it with diabetes, the research would be successful.
Morff and Granger have studied both rats with natural diabetes or laboratory-
induced diabetes.
“We are looking at why it occurs. We have a system so we can look at live tissue
in experimental animals,” Morff said.
Previous studies have been mainly clinical or structural, he said.
Clinical studies involve mainly finding what drugs are effective in fighting
diabetes and its symptoms and structural research involves studying tissue after
death, he said. The research at Texas A&M has an advantage over these because
the research involves studying live tissue.
Diabetes is a genetically caused disease that causes the pancreas to stop produc
ing insulin. Insulin controls glucose (sugar) levels in the blood.
There are two types of diabetes, adolescent onset and maturity onset. Adoles
cent onset is more severe because insulin production stops completely. In matur
ity onset, some insulin producing cells continue to function, he said.
In both types of diabetes, the blood sugar levels can be controlled either by
insulin injections or special diets. However controlling the sugar levels does not
prevent the vascular malfuntions, he said.
It has been known for 100 years about the changes in diabetic vascular systems,
but no one has been able to determine why, Morff said.
“We don’t know if it is a direct consequence of blood sugar level. Some re
searchers feel it is another genetic defect that is linked to the diabetes defect.
Others believe one defect stops pancreas production of insulin and causes the
vascular disease.”
A diabetic can live without developing vascular disease, but Morff said this is
“Generally both types of diabetics will develop vascular disease. The severity of
the vascular malfunctions is related to the length of time the person has had
“Vascular disease appears to be dependent on diet. Japanese diabetics do not
have nearly the severity of vascular disease as American diabetics. But we are not
actually sure if diet has an effect on the disease. It could be genetics or diet,”
Morff said.
Hurricane Bob moves closer
to south Louisiana coast
United Press Internationa]
NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Bob,
quickly developing into the tropical sea
son’s first major Atlantic-storm, gathered
its 75 mph winds today and pushed head
long toward the south Louisiana coast,
forcing thousands of residents to flee low-
lying areas.
Several thousand oilmen from offshore
drilling rigs and hurricane-hardened resi
dents traveled to higher ground in antici
pation of tides three to six feet above nor
The National Hurricane Center said late
Tuesday that Bob, the first hurricane in
the Atlantic zone with a male name, was
located less than 300 miles south-
southwest of New Orleans with highest
winds of 75 mph, the minimum force for a
hurricane. Its map coordinates were
latitude 26.2 north, longitude 91.5 west.
Bob’s movement was to the north-
northeast at 12 to 15 mph. Continued
movement in that direction and at that
speed were expected to put the storm
ashore on the southeast Louisiana coast
west of Grand Isle, La., between 6 a.m.
and noon today.
Another nature shot
The sun sinks on another semester at Texas A&M,
allowing students to reflect on what they have or
haven’t accomplished during the first summer ses
sion. Whatever the outcome, this oak tree on FM
2818 will be here long after we are. We hope.
Battalion photo by Clay Cockrill