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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, June 30, 1995 - Page 4

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 30, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas                                4 A O HeraldZeitung O Friday June Opinion To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the 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 The human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be Nikki Giovanni writer 1984 EDITORIAL Danger zone Incident at courthouse points to need for protection of county employees In the halls and courtrooms of county courthouses across Texas emotional dramas are played out daily as divorce or child custody hearings are held as well as other civil and crim inal trials Unfortunately some people have taken their anger out against family attorneys or judges inside the walls of courthouses In recent years a shooting spree at the Tarrant County Cour thouse by a man upset after losing custody of his son and being charged with sexually abusing the youngster resulted in the deaths of two attorneys with another lawyer and two judges being injured Following that incident the Marshals Service conducted a security study of three Dallas County buildings Their findings revealed that most court security increases have come after an incident rather than being proactive and try ing to prevent them Six months later however a triple shooting murdersuicide occurred at the George Allen Sr Courthouse in Dallas County employees work every day with contentiouscivil and juvenile cases Emotions run high and many worry about the pos sibility for violence On Thursday an incident at the Comal County Courthouse involved a local man who brought a rifle to the courthouse While the rifle was never carried inside the courthouse employees and law enforcement personnel were all relieved that the incident did not escalate But what about the next time While police averted what could have been a dangerous situ ation Comal County officials should take this opportunity to buck ihe trend discovered in the Marshals Service study and take a long hard look at how workers and visitors can be protected from those who might try to bring weapons into the courthouse After taking that long look proactive action should follow Todaya editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Write us The New Braunfels HeraldZeitung welcomes letters on any public issue The editor reserves the right to correct spelling style punctua tion and known factual errors Letters should be kept to 250 words We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels 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 New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Texas 781311328 New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Editor and Publisher David Sullens General Manager Cheryl DuVall Managing Editor Doug Loveday Advertising Director Tracy Stevens Circulation Director Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman Douglas Brandt Classified Manager Laura Cooper City Editor Roger Croteau Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by ihe New Braunfels HeraUZeitung USPS 377880 707 Landa or Drawer 3 1 328 New Braunfels Cornal County Tx 78 1 3 1 1 328 Second clais postage paid by the New liraun feis HeraldZeiiung in New Braunfels Texas Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties three months six months one year Senior Citizen Discounts by carrier delivery only six months one year Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months six months one year Mail outside Texas six months one year Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by Tuesday through Friday or by on Sunday may call 210J 6259144 or by 7 weekdays or by 1 1 on Sunday Fireworks a part of American history Marie Dawson Bang Wow Zowie Hot Dog Look at that Woweeee Its the Fourth of July almost and the city of New Braunfels has allocated a lot of money toward the fabulous fireworks exhibit in the park Nobody does it as well on the amount of money they have to spend Fourth of July means fire works to most people It is hard to imagine the Fourth without them Have you ever thought about the history of fireworks Even before the first Fourth over 200 years ago revolutionary leader John Adams imagined the part name for fireworks at that would play in its observance On July he wrote to his wife that the next day would be the most memorable in the history of America I am apt to believe that it will be cele brated by succeeding generations as the great anniver sary pomp and and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward Lighting fireworks was one of the colonists favorite ways to celebrate special holidays The cus tom was brought over by the earliest settlers from England and Europe Fireworks were a natural part of the first Fourth in 1777 and the grand celebration in 1789 when George Washington became the first president By the late 1800s and early 1900s the American public could easily buy and set off dangerously pow erful firecrackers The national day of celebration was turned into a national day of tragedy So many terri ble accidents happened that the Fourth was called Deaths Busy Americans ignored the risk and kept right on buy ing bigger and louder fireworks One favorite crack er was a foot and a half long Dropped into an iron let ter box it could blow it to pieces Toy pistols with play ammunition could accidentally explode in a childs hand as he was loading the gun or cannon Earth and clay mixed with the gunpowder in the blanks got into the burn wounds The dirt some times contained germs of an often fatal disease tetanus On July fireworks accidents occurred that injured almost people and killed 445 Of these victims 406 died of tetanus Between 1900 and 1930 more than people died from fire worksrelated accidents Soon it seemed that cele brating our independence was costing more lives than winning it Eventually lawmakers and manufacturers began to respond to the tragic events In 1938 a model law was written for states to follow if they wanted to The law banned the sale and use of all fireworks to the public Only licensed operators or special groups like police or firefighters could shoot fireworks Since 1976 the Consumer Product Safety Commission with the help of the American Pyrotechnics Association a group of manufacturers and has regu lated the manufacture and labeling of fireworks for public sale The commission also sets performance standards and new fireworks on the market are test ed to make sure they conform to the rules Federal government transportation laws divide all explosives into three categories A B and C Legal fireworks for sale to the public are called Class C common fireworks or home fireworks The fire works used by professionals are Class B These con tain large amounts of explosive material and can only be set off at licensed public displays Com pared to a Class C firecracker containing 50 mil ligrams of flash powder a Class B noisemaking a contain one ounce of flash powder or milligrams Military explo sives such as bombs and artillery shells are Class A explosives The fireworks industry strongly supports present governmental regulations If fireworks were totally banned legal manufacturers and distributors fear that illegal manufacturers would cash in on the oppor tunity and sell more dangerous fireworks without any concern for safety Even though fireworks will never be completely harmless the problems of the past have been great ly reduced More Americans are using fireworks but the percentage of population being injured is far smaller Since the Bicentennial the popularity of fireworks is booming Celebrating with fireworks reached new heights at the Liberty Weekend centennial celebration for the Statue of Liberty on July Billed as the worlds biggest fireworks show the spectacle in New York Harbor required three of Americas largest fireworks companies to produce it Fireworks by Grucci PyroSpectaculars and Zambellie Interna tionale Some spectators paid as much as a weekend to rent apartments with good views of the fireworks Even though the history of primitive fireworks goes back 2000 years to the Chinese through the cen turies credit has been given to the Arabs the Ger mans the Greeks and the English The Italians got involved in the 15th and 16th centuries and were known for their lavish ground productions Also the Italians invented the pinwheel that spews forth streams of sparks Pinwheels are still in use today Italian firemasters were in demand throughout Europe by princes and kings who wanted the best in fire works for their crowning ceremonies weddings peace celebrations and religious festivals With a vari ety of fireworks all blazing at once an Italian tem ple was a spectacular sight In contrast fireworks shows in northern Europe including Sweden Den mark and the German states were shot from the ground and burst high overhead much like our mod ern displays Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about fireworks As you can see especially from our New Braunfels celebration the American tradition of fireworks even though borrowed from other lands along with all our other culture and her itage appears to have a very strong future Enjoy your Fourth of July a grand and glorious oldfashioned holiday Remember the freedom that we are celebrating and give thanks for the Grand Old Flag After reading about early fireworks I now understand the meaning of the expression Have a safe I hope you all do Marie Dawson is a New Braunfels resident who writes exclusively about senior citizen Liberals fear gains by minorities lost k Send address changes to the New HeraldZeitung Draw er 31 1328 New 781311328 WASHINGTON AP In dra matically rewriting the rules for redis tricting the Supreme Court raised the specter of erasing recent political gains by blacks and other racial minorities and dealt a blow to civil rights groups still reeling from other recent setbacks But whether the ripple from Thurs days decision will be as devastating as many liberals predict is far less clear than the lefts foreboding rhetoric would indicate In another 54 ruling on a contro versial case the divided court threw out a Georgia redistricting plan ruling that race could not be the predomi nant factor in crafting political district lines Today In History Analysis The case dealt with Georgia Demo cratic Rep Cynthia McKinneys odd ly shaped majority black district but the ruling calls into questions at least a halfdozen House seats crafted under similar circumstances Not to mention state legislative and other local dis tricts crafted with the explicit goal of increasing the numbers of blacks and Hispanics in office In an interview twolime Democ ratic presidential candidate Jesse Jack son predicted legal challenges by the dozens and said the court had made a revolutionary rejection of minority voting rights 1996 is going to look a lot like he predicted Allies on the left echoed his dire prediction Wade Henderson legal director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called the decision the first step in the resegrcgation of American elec toral President Clinton didnt go that far but said the decision threatens to undermine the promise of the Voting Rights But other voices in the debate pre dicted the Georgia decision would have far less reach For starters the court agreed to hear cases next year involving challenges to Texas and North Carolina redistricting plans The lines in those states would be ripe for challenge under the Georgia decision but are now tied up in the Supreme Court And the court let stand a California redistricting plan in which race was a factor but not the only factor in drawing the lines So while describing the Georgia case a clear setback to protecting blackmajority districts Deval Patrick the head of the Justice Departments civil rights division said all was not lost We still have a fighting chance and were still in this he said By The Associated Press Today is Friday June 30 the 181st day of 1995 There are 184 days left in the year Todays Highlight in History On June 30 1971 the 26th Amendment to the Constitution lowering the minimum voting age to 18 was ratified as Ohio became the 38th slate to approve it On this date In 1834 the Indian Territory was created by Congress In 1859 French acrobat Blondin born Jean Fran cois Gravclct crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as spectaiors watched In 1870 Ada H Kepley of Effingham became Americas firsl female law school graduate In 1906 the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act became law In 1921 President Harding appointed former President Taft chief justice of ihe United Stales In 1934 Adolf Hitler began his blood purge of political and military leaders in Germany Among those killed was Ernst Roehm leader of the Nazi stormtroopers and Hitlers onetime ally In 1936 the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was published in New York In 1952 The Guiding a popular radio program made its debut as a television soap opera on CBS In 1963 Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church in an outdoor ceremony at St Peters Square In 1971 a Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead inside their spacecraft after it had returned to Earth In 1984 John Turner was sworn in as Canadas 17th prime minister succeeding Pierre Elliott Trudeau   

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