The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 04, 1983, Image 1

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    The Battalion
Serving the University community
1.76 No. 90 USPS 045360 30 Pages In 2 Sections
College Station, Texas
Friday, February 4, 1983
*'■ Marl!
it the
h um Eat
be asset
Fuel price action
attacked by White
United Press International
AUSTIN — Recent action by the
Public Utility Commission to change
the way utilities recoup fuel costs was
“not nearly good enough,” a sharply
critical Gov. Mark White said.
White claimed the PUC was trying
to disguise the controversial fuel ad
justment clause through a cosmetic
change in rules instead of actually
abolishing the charge.
“I want to make it very clear,”
White said Thursday at a Capitol
news conference. “When I said I
wanted to see the fuel adjustment
clause abolished, that’s simple En
glish. I want it abolished. I don’t want
them to hide it, I want them to abolish
The fuel adjustment clause, which
is listed as a separate item on fuel bills
and often exceeds base rates, current
ly is charged on a monthly basis. The
PUC voted earlier this week to re
quire utilities to estimate fuel costs a
year in advance.
“That’s not nearly good enough,”
White said.
The governor has proposed that
the three-member PUC be elected
rather than appointed and said he
would push for legislation that would
strike down the fuel adjustment
clause — one of White’s foremost
campaign pledges in last fall’s guber
natorial race.
“I think every day they (PUC com
missioners) prove my case in every
way, that the Public Utility Commis
sion needs to be elected,” White said.
“They take action for many of the
wrong reasons. They seem to be ca
tering to the bond analysts rather
than worrying about the public in
In other matters, White said he and
his advisers still were trying to formu
late his executive state budget and
had not decided whether the gov
ernor’s priority programs could be fi
nanced without new taxes or in
creases in certain state fees.
“We’re taking a little out here and
putting a little in there and it’s not an
easy job,” White said of the budget
making process. “I’m trying to make
certain that when we add it all up, we
won’t need a new tax or increased
fees. If we do, we will then discuss that
.staff photo by Rob Johnston
Going my way?
Drivers going down Texas Avenue know
where to stop and get their cars washed
now, thanks to the gorilla in front of
Mission Car Wash. The mechanical gorilla
works for bananas, and draws customers
too. Too bad he doesn’t do windows.
A&M scientists develop
DNA transfer method
English program named
ne of most improved
by Michael Raulerson
Battalion Reporter
he English graduate program
e has been named one of the four
jst improved English programs in
I nation, according to a recent
fudy done by a Conference Board of
BSociated Research Councils com-
“It’s an honor to Texas A&M be-
Ise we’re known for our agrieul-
|lre and engineering,” said Dr. For-
ist Bird, director of the graduate En-
ph program.
The other three schools that
wed outstanding improvement in
duate English departments are
the University of California at Irvine,
the University of Delaware and the
University of Pennsylvania.
The committee ranked the prog
rams by evaluating the quality of stu
dents in the program, quality of re
search libraries, competence of the fa
culty, faculty publications and the
success of its graduates in Finding
Bird said the graduate English
program has been improved by the
addition of competent faculty in
American literature, rhetoric and
composition. The faculty also has be
come more active in publishing books
and articles in scholarly journals, he
The nine disciplines evaluated in
the humanities study were art history,
the classics, English, French, German,
linguistics, music, philosophy and
The report is the second of five to
be published on the quality of gradu
ate education in the United States.
The first — on mathematics and phy
sical sciences —- was published in Sep
tember 1982.
The council also plans to complete
reports on engineering, the biological
sciences and the behavioral and social
sciences. The reports, when com
pleted, will include 26 disciplines.
by David Marchand
Battalion Reporter
A new method of supplying genes
that could cure some hereditary dis
eases caused by missing genes has
been developed by Texas A&M gene
tic researchers.
Dr. Garret Ihler and Dr. Charles
Roessner, both of the medical bioche
mistry department, said Thursday
that cures for many of the diseases
caused by gene deficiencies may be
realized sooner than expected.
Two methods of supplying genes
haven’t worked, but a new method —
developed by Roessner, Ihler and Dr.
Douglas Struck, also with the medical
biochemistry department — seems to
show greater promise, Ihler said.
The three-step method involves
transferring DNA from bacter
iophage, or naturally occurring
organisms, to man-made cells called
liposomes and then to desired cells.
If the method proves to be effi
cient, as Roessner said it could, treat
ment for genetic diseases might fol
low quickly.
The researchers’ goal is to deter
mine the efficiency of the process and
to find the conditions under which it
is most effective, Roessner said.
Ihler, who studied at Harvard Uni
versity under James D. Watson, one
of the discoverers of the hereditary
code carrier DNA, said the idea of
human mutants being produced by
genetic engineering — as in the movie
“The Blade Runner” — still isn’t feasi
ble. Science is no closer to that now
than it was at the turn of the century,
he said.
“Most people don’t think you
should be playing around with pa
tients at this point in time — and I
agree,” he said.
Ihler and Roessner said they will be
moving their research to a new build
ing near the Veterinary Medicine
Complex in June. A new electron mic
roscope and a DNA synthesizer are
part of the equipment that will be sup
plied with the new building.
Truckers leader foresees
no early strike settlement
Jnemployment rate drops;
irst decline in 1V2 years
United Press International
Bployment rate dropped to 10.4
■rent in January, the first decline in
IS months, the Labor Department re-
||ted today, with increased manu-
■turing and construction a major
Ictor in putting Americans back to
The department’s Bureau of
or Statistics said 11.4 million
lericans were out of work last
month, according to data adjusted for
seasonal factors, for a drop of
590,000 from December.
December’s 10.8 percent jobless
rate was the highest since the end of
the Great Depression.
The report is good news for the
Reagan administration and congres
sional leaders who are struggling on
legislation to provide jobs for the
long-term unemployed.
The 11.4 million officially consi
dered as unemployed do not include
1.8 million so-called discouraged
workers who have' given up seeking
employment, or millions of others
who have accepted only part-time
jobs because of the recession.
Economists, however, have shied
from saying that data is any sign of an
improvement in the long-t'erm job
lessness picture because many work
ers have exhausted unemployment
benefits but are still without a job.
United Press International
The Independent Truckers Asso
ciation worked up a list of demands to
present to the federal government to
day, and its violence-ridden strike
forced an Ohio plant to close and
drove consumers to stockpile pro
duce in the Northeast.
ITA President Mike Parkhurst
said he sees no immediate settlement
to the strike, which truckers hope will
force Congress to rescind the 5-cent
fuel tax and higher road-use fees..
Shoppers stocked up on fruits and
vegetables in anticipation of spot
shortages next week. Prices on pota
toes and Valentine flowers were ex
pected to rise because of the strike.
Distributors arranged to receive ship
ments by air, which is more expensive
than trucking, or rail, which is slower.
The five-day strike has been
marked by almost 1,000 violent inci
dents and 75 injuries.
Typical of truck stops around the
nation, four truck stops at the entr
ance of the Ohio Turnpike near Tole
do reported business was off as much
as 50 percent.
“We’re usually packed at this
hour,” said George Brokenshire,
manager of the Truck Stops of Amer
ica Restaurant, while looking around
the dining room where only about 10
truckers were eating.
“We’re hurting now. This is the
most organized strike I’ve ever seen
and it’s slowing down almost all
aspects of the industry.”
The ITA says about 65,000 of the
nation’s 100,000 independent truck
ers are striking but many of them
admit that only the shootings, fires
and vandalism are keeping them off
the road.
Most drivers are driving only dur
ing the day and some are receiving
“combat pay” for their runs. Depart
ment of Transportation officials said
deliveries were most seriously
affected from New York to Chicago
because drivers are afraid to go
through Pennsylvania and Ohio, the
two states with the most reports of
Teamster driver George F. Capps,
the only person killed in the strike,
was buried Thursday and eulogized
as a man who “loved to shift those
gears; he loved to hear those wheels
hum.” The reward for information
about his killers has grown to
Parkhurst, who blamed the vio
lence on “wackos, sickies and Teams
ters,” said: “I don’t see any settlement
soon. We frankly think that the wait
ing game is on as far as the govern
ment is concerned. I haven’t seen any
legislation that would help.”
poudy with a 60 percent chance of
in and a high of 48.
United Press International
Today is Friday, Feb. 4, the 85th
av of 1982 with 880 to follow.
Charles Lindbergh was born
eb. 4, 1902. Theologian Dietrich
ionhoeffer was born on the same
late in 1906 and actress Ida I.upi-
ioalso was born Feb. 4. in 1918.
On this date in historv:
In 1988, Adolf Hitler seized
control of the German army and
jut Nazi officers in kev posts as
art of a plan which was to cause
Aorld War 11.
In 1974, Patricia Hearst, 191
laughter of San Francisco pufi
sher Randolph Hearst, was spi
tted away from her apartment in
erkeley, Calif., by urban guerril-
Jury to begin deliberations
in the Chagra murder case
United Press International
ernment prosecutor told a federal
court jury it would be “a travesty” if it
failed to convict Jamiel “Jimmy”
Chagra of the murder of a Texas fed
eral judge.
The defense, however, asked
Thursday for an acquittal as “a tri
bute” to the judge’s memory.
U.S. District Judge William Ses
sions said he would give final instruc
tions to the jury on questions of law
beginning at 9 a.m. today. Then the
jury, which was sequestered Thurs
day night, will begin its deliberations.
Chagra, 39, a Las Vegas, Nev.,
gambler and convicted narcotics traf
ficker, is being tried on charges he
paid $250,000 to convicted hitman
Charles V. Harrelson, 44, to kill U.S.
District Judge John H. Wood Jr., who
was scheduled to preside at his narco
tics trial in Texas.
Wood was shot in the back with a
high-powered rifle as he was entering
his car in front of his San Antonio
home the morning of May 29, 1979.
The trial was moved tojacksonville
because of the extensive publicity in
Texas surrounding the only assassi
nation of a federal judge in this cen
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Jahn
of San Antonio, who spent nearly two
hours Thursday rebutting defense
arguments, called the jurors — 12
women and three men (three alter
nates won’t find out who they are un
til the case goes to the jury) — that
they represented “the community.”
“And because of the nature of this
case, the community is nationwide,”
he said.
Jahn quoted from a document
written by Harrelson in which he said
he wanted his ashes to be dropped
from the air over the “John H. Wood
courthouse in San Antonio.” Harrel
son adds, “What a travesty!” an appa
rent reference to the government in
vestigation of him going on then.
“I say to you, ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,’’Jahn concluded, “that an
acquittal in this case would be nothing
more or less than a travesty.”
He said Chagra had “damned him-
selF’ through numerous admissions
during more than 12 hours of secretly
tape-recorded conversations on the
telephone and at Leavenworth feder
al penitentiary in Kansas, in the visit
ing room with his wife, Elizabeth, and
brother, Joe, and in the cell of fellow
inmate Jerry Ray James.
Oscar Goodman, Chagra’s Las
Vegas attorney, said the government
had failed to allay reasonable doubts
about Chagra’s guilt. He argued that
Chagra was “a braggart” in his deal
ings with other inmates at Leaven
worth, spoke in a “light” vein with his
wife and brother and several times
said he didn’t know Harrelson.
Goodman asked the jury to listen
again to the tapes again with an ear
toward sorting out “the fantasies,”
weigh the testimony of some “incredi
ble” witnesses and ignore the fact that
Chagra is a convicted narcotics smug
gler serving a 30-year prison term
with no parole.
Referring to the question of mo
tive, Goodman noted that govern
ment and defense attorneys had been
only five years apart in maximum
prison exposure — 15 versus 10 — in
plea-bargaining talks in 1979 and that
“if you’re going to kill anyone you kill
the witness against you (Henry Wal
lace), not the judge.”
He said Chagra told an interviewer
he thought Wood was prejudiced
against him and tried through legal
maneuvers to get the judge to disqual
ify himself.
“Would a man who has openly de
clared his position participate in the
assassination of a federal judge?”
Goodman asked.
“I submit to you that the ultimate
tribute you could pay to the honor
able John H. Wood Jr., who swore to
uphold the laws of this country when
he became ajudge, would be to return
a verdict of not guilty,” he said.
staff photo by Irene Mees
Art at Rudder Tower
Rudder landscape got a new look Thursday after an
engineering design major put up these cardboard statues.
The statues are a take-off on the statue beside the
Memorial Student Center, “Planned for the Future.”