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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Tuesday, May 2, 1995 - Page 4

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 2, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas                                4 HeraldZeitung Tuesday May 2 1995 Opinion To talk with Managing Edit6r Doug Loveday aboutthe Opinion page call 6259144 ext 21 Opinion Online contact To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet or to simply contact staff members the HeraldZeitungs address is HZeitung@AOL.com People love the unvarnished truth if its about others and hate it when its about Warren Rogers 1994 EDITORIAL From Rescue To Recovery Workers in Oklahoma City turn over grim task as hope fades As the days passed following the bombing families and rescue work ers in Oklahoma City continued to hope that survivors would be found in the rubble Past experience gave them reason for hope Earthquakes in this country and abroad have leveled buildings trapping victims beneath the wreckage In many cases survivors were found days and even weeks alter the disaster In the more dramatic cases survivors were pinned under rubble but had plenty of air and some kind of water source on which to survive The earthquake would shake the buildings apart and bring the pieces straight down to the ground If victims were able to shield themselves from the falling debris and if they had a large measure of they might be able to survive until res cue workers dug them out The bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City however did far more damage than an earthquake could have Rescue workers who discovered victims found that they were dealing with far more serious wounds than those associated with earthquakes Blast wounds and shrapnel wounds took a tremendous toll on the workers and visitors in the building before the structure fell down upon them And instead of the building crumbling in large pieces that could fall and land at an angle perhaps protecting those below the Murray building was shredded into small pieces leaving mounds of rubble under which no one could survive Anyone who was lucky enough to survive the initial blast and disinte gration of the buildings facade would then have to deal with the poor weather that plagued rescuers for several days early on Cold temperatures mixed with heavy rains and winds would have been a horrible obstacle for any survivors to face So now some 13 days since the blast the decision has been made to use heavy equipment to remove the rest of the debris believed burying some 40 victims The machines will be less forgiving in their search but they will also speed the recovery of bodies Rescue workers will also be far safer less vulnerable to falling debris and building collapse While many may rue the fact lhal the search for live victims has basi cally been called off the use of heavy equipment may prevent a second tragedy by keeping rescue workers out of harms way editorial was written hy Mdticifinf Editor Doug Loveday Write us Thu Neiv Braunfeis HeraldZeitung welcomes lettuns on any public issue The editor reservos the ritfht to correct spelling style punctua tion and known factual errors Letters should lc kept to 250 words We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfeis Herald Zeitung bearing the writers signature Also an address and a telephone number which are not for publication must be included Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days Mail letters to Letters to the Editor The Wen Braunfeis HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfeis Texas 781311328 Fax 210 6251224 New Braunfeis HeraldZeitung Editor and General Managing Advertising Circulation Pressroom Classified Manager City Sullens DuVall Loveday Stevens Ann Avery Brandt Karen Reininger Croteau Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through lriday by the I ISPS 377880 707 lurnla Si 01 Diavver 311328 New Hiaunlels ifinal County I x 7K13 1 2X Second class jxnlajjc paid by the New liraun Hitdlii in New Braunlels lexas Canier deliveied in omul and counties three months six moniiis one year VXJ Senior Discounts by carrier dehveiy only six months one year Mail delivery outside Coinal County in Texas thiec months six months one yeai 50 Mail outside Texas six months one year Subsenbeis who have not lecewed a by Tuesday through Friday 01 by 730 u in on Sunday may call 01 by 7 weekdays or by II on Sunday HIJS i MAS 11 c Send addiess changes to the Atir HcrultlZeitunx Draw ei 311328 New x 781311328 Voting on sales tax issue tricky Roger Croteau I almost always vote early That way I can vote when it is most convenient for me I avoid the election day lines and I know I wont have to go vote on election day if the weather is crummy or if its so nice Id rather be out doing something fun But I havent voted yet for the May 6 city election because I cant make up my mind about the two sales tax propositions There arc a lot of things to consider on these propositions and whichever way it turns out it will end up affecting my wallet What the election boils down to for me is this Which is the better way to finance city government through sales taxes or property taxes The two propositions if they pass would increase the sales tax half a cent The money would be split four ways oneeighth of a cent for property tax reduction oneeighth of a cent for economic devel opment oneeighth of a cent for streets and drainage and oneeighth of a cent for city facilities and equip ment Now the city will have to address the problems of streets and drainage economic development and city facilities like a new library and police station whether these propositions pass or not The question is whether they will be paid for by property taxes or sales taxes And as far as reducing the property tax rate well the city will spend the same amount of money whether that passes or not so again the ques tion is will they spend money raised through sales tax or property tax The folks on the city council like the idea of the sales tax because this town gets so many tourists They argue and correctly so that tourists pay sales taxes but not property taxes So this is a way to get a portion of the tax burden off city residents and put it onto tourists Part of me likes that idea but part of me wonders if it is fair Another thing to consider is whether increasing the sales tax to percent would cause people to shop out of town The sales tax rate in San Antonio is percent and a lot of people too many already rou tinely shop in San Antonio instead of locally Wouldnt making our sales tax higher than San Antonio just give them another reason to drive south When you look at how much the higher sales lax would add to the cost of even a large item like a refrigerator it seems negligible but it might make people more likely to shop out of town Before it passed its own sales tax increase the City of Round Rock had a Shop Round Rock Its Less Taxing campaign that featured bill boards on Interstate 35 and other advertising City officials said it was a success but then they abandoned it and raised the sales tax anyway so maybe it wasnt such a hit There is also the question of which tax is more fair sales tax or properly tax Property taxes are pro gressive thai is the rich pay a larger share than the poor The rate is the same for everyone but wealthy people live in homes with higher appraised values so they are likely to pay a slightly higher percentage of ihcir income in property taxes than someone living in a small apartment or rental home it may not seem like they pay property taxes but it is factored into their And speaking of renters lie property tax is factored into their rent If the property tax is reduced do you think landlords will lower their rents Not likely so renters wont save a dime but they will pay the higher sales tax so they come out losers The sales tax is generally considered a more regres sive tax than the property lax It is not quite as regres sive as many people think however because many necessities arc exempted Groceries medical care rcnl or mortgage payments arc not taxed So lower income people who spend most of their money on the necessities of life spend only a small portion of their income on taxable items so they pay a smaller share of their income on sales tax Rich people who put a large portion of their earn ings into savings and investments also get off easi er because all that money put into savings is not touched by the sales tax So the sales tax really lands hardest on surprise the middle class who spend a larger portion of their income than the poor on taxable items like meals in restaurants new televisions and such but put less of their earnings into savings than higher income people Another thing to think about is that a portion of the sales tax money would go to economic develop ment Some people who moved to New Braunfeis for its smalltown charm and natural beauty may not like some of the tilings economic development brings with it more crowded parks lots of construction crowded roads longer lines at the HEB They dont like it and they certainly dont want to pay extra taxes to bring it here So how will I vote on the sales tax issues Ask me May have a feeling Ill be making up my mind as I stand in the voting booth Roger Croteau is the HeraldZeitung city Marking bomb material revived on Hill WASHINGTON AP Almost 20 years ago the government devel oped a way to mark explosives to help trace the origins of terrorist bombs But Congress blocked the research even after a test of the device helped catch a bomber in Baltimore Lohhymg by the explosives indus try and the National Rifle Associa tion citing safety concerns buried the idea The Oklahoma City bombing shocked it back to life Last week President Clinton pro posed legislation to resume Treasury Department study of the feasibility of mixing tracers called into dynamite and other explosives That might include the used to make the Oklahoma City bomb or other materials lhal detonate such bombs A blasl would scalier these tiny plaslic Iracers which survive as a clue to help find the bomber They would prevent a hoi lead from gelling Ron Noble a trea sury undersecretary said Monday The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms began developing lag Today In History By The Associated Press Today is Tuesday May 2 the 122nd day of 1995 There are 243 days left in the yeai Todays Highlight in History Fifty years ago on May 2 1945 ihc Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin and the Allies announced the Analysis gants in 1974 Bach chip about the of a grain of sand carries a micro scopic color code lhal shows where and when the explosives were made They can be gathered with magnets or viewed wilh fluorescent light In a pilot program manufacturers inserted he plastic tags into some 7 million pounds of dynamite sold between 1977 and 1979 a fraction of I percent of ihc dynamite sold in those years The lest wasnt expected to lead to an arrest But in May 1979 Nathan A Allen of Baltimore climbed into his pickup truck started ihc engine and was blown through the truck window by two sticks of dynamite rigged under ihc seal He was killed investigators found lag ganls from one of Ihc test shipments at Ihe scene Within 24 hours they traced the dynamite from its maker to ihc buyer Allens uncle James L McFill in McFillin who apparently believed surrender of troops in Italy and parts of Austria On this date In 1519 artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux France In 1670 the Hudson Bay Company was chartered by Englands King Charles 11 In 1863 Confederate Gen Thomas Allen was having an affair with his wife was convicted of the bombing and sentenced to 30 years in prison Federal agents couldnt have dreamed up a belter demonstration of the technology But it didnt convince detractors or Congress Opponents said the government had not proven the devices were safe Tampering wilh explosives could put miners and others who work with them at risk he Institute of Makers of Explosives said Opponents also argued that the laggant program would be loo expensive Ilie NRA raised similar safety com plaints about lagganls in gunpowder and also likened il to federal registra tion of firearms The government wanted to mark the black powder used by owners of oldstyle ing guns because il is often used in pipe bombs The NRA was pretty said Jim Pasco a former ATI1 assistant director who is now executive director of Ihe Fraternal Order of Police This would have been one tremendous leap forward and il was just stopped A 1980 report by congressional investigators called taggants useful law enforcement tools against terror but also urged more study to seltle the safely questions The report by the Office of Tech nology Assessment predicted Ihe safely research could be completed in lime lo require the markers in explosives by 1984 Instead Congress cul off all spend ing on the taggant program This lime wilh the search for bodies continuing in Oklahoma as congressional committees begin hear ings on stopping terrorism ihings could be different Wedefinitely have momentum said Tom minority coun sel for the House Judiciary Commit tees subcommittee on crime I feel prelty confident some of ihese antiterrorism measures are going to Sunday on NBCTVs Mecl the Press program NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre noted Ihe groups earlier argument that taggants might destabilise gunpowder Bui he added Were laking a whole other look at the Stonewall Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men al Chancel lorsviUc he died eight days later In 1885 Good Housekeeping mag was first published in Holyoke Mass In 1890 the Oklahoma Territory was organized In 1895 100 years ago lyricist Lorenx Hart who collaborated with composer Richard Rodgers on songs like Thou Swell and My Funny was born in New York In 1932 Jack Bennys firsl radio show made its debul on Ihe NBC Blue Network In 1936 Peler and the a symphonic ale for children by Sergei Prokofiev had its world premiere in Moscow   

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