New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, December 10, 1996, Page 4

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

December 10, 1996

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Issue date: Tuesday, December 10, 1996

Pages available: 10

Previous edition: Sunday, December 8, 1996

Next edition: Wednesday, December 11, 1996

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 10, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas 4 □ Heraid-Zeitung J i uesday, December 10, 1996 Opinion ■ To talk with Interim Managing Editor Jim Denery about the Opinion page, caii 625-9144, Ext 221. Heraid-Zeitung Opinion Online contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the managing editor’s address is DLovedayCAOL.com. QUOTABLE “In public education, there is a need to take religion seriously. But proposals for a prayer amendment are the wrong solution for a real problem.” Charles Haynes author, religion scholar, 1995Simpson’s testimony doesn’t fill holes EDITORIAL Christmas care Few symbols in life are as beautiful and memorable as a Christmas tree, but they also can be dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association reports that Christmas tree fires kill an average of 33 Americans and injure 117 each year. About $23 million in property damage is blamed each year on Christmas tree fires. That does not include fires caused by candles, outside Christmas lights and other decorations. Don’t let tragedy mar your holiday. The American Red Cross offers 12 holiday safety tips: ■ Beware of holiday lighting — Take care when burning candles. Be sure they are kept away from decorations or other combustible materials. Do not leave children unattended in rooms with lit candles. Also, always keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. ■ Test tree lights — When decorating with lights, be sure to buy only those labeled by a testing laboratory. Never use candles to decorate Christmas trees. Don’t overload electrical outlets, and always unplug all lights before leaving home or going to bed. Never put lights on a metal tree. ■ Prepare for holiday parties — Decorate only with flame-retardant or noncombustible materials. Avoid candles, lf guests will be smoking, provide them with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After a party, check inside and under upholstery and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering. ■ Keep Christmas trees watered — Make sure your tree is fresh cut and keep it watered lf you bought an artificial tree, make sure it’s fire-retardant. ■ Inspect fireplace — Have your chimney inspected for creosote or obstructions such as nests. Never use flammable liquids in a fireplace. Bum only wood. ■ Wood*stoves — Again, make sure your chimney and stove pipe is clean. Bum only wood. We don’t use wood stoves for much of the year here in the Hill Country, so inspect it carefully before using. ■ Be careful when cooking — Do not wear loose fitting clothes and don’t store items on the stove. Be sure to turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. ■ Be cautious with portable and space heaters — Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible, including wallpaper, bedding, clothing, pets and people. Never leave space heaters on when you are not in the room. Do not leave children or pets unattended in a room with space heaters. ■ Designate a driver When attending a party, always designate a non-drinking driver, lf you are the host of a party, ensure than non-alcoholic drinks are available. ■ Buckle up — Wear your seat belts. If you have airbags, make sure babies and small children sit in the back seat with their seat belts fastened. ■ Winter Storm Plan If you are traveling over the holidays, especially to the north, pack warm clothes and a blanket. Make sure your car has been winterized with anti-freeze. ■ Take a first aid and CPR course — Although this tip cannot help you prevent an accident or emergency, it can help you be prepared for some emergencies. (Today's editorial was written by Heraid-Zeitung Publisher and Editor Doug Toney.) Write us The New Braunfels Heraid-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation 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 writer’s 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 do the New Braunfels Heraid-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210) 625-1224 New Braunfels Herald -Zeitung Editor and Publisher. Ext 301.......................................Doug    Toney Director of Advertising, Ext. 308.........................Debbie Banta-Scott Retail Advertising Manager, Ext. 209............................Jack    Osteen Classified Advertising Manager, Ext. 214...............Karen Reininger Business Manager, Ext. 202.......................................Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Director, Ext. 228 ................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman, Ext 205..........................................Billy    Parnell Interim Managing Editor, Ext. 221....................................Jim    Denery Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Fnday by the Mew Braunfels Herald-/rifling (USPS 377-XKO) 707 I anda St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131 -1328. Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Hung in New Braunfels, Texas. t amer delivered in C omal and Guadalupe counties: three month*, $20.50; six months, $37; one year, $66. Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $33; one year, $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; six months, $55; one year, $103.50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78; one year, $! 18.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Fnday or by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday may call (210)625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a.m. on Sunday. Pos I mas mr: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-/fining, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. Like an annoying relative at Thanksgiving, O.J. Simpson is with us again. Just about everyone has already judged Simpson on the basis of last year’s criminal trial in which he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. So the wrongful death civil trial, in which Simpson has taken the stand for the first time, will likely not change any minds. Still, for those who have had experience with wife abusers and abused wives (mine was as a reporter who covered such stories), Simpson’s testimony presents important insights into the mind of one who sees his wife as a possession to be dealt with as he pleases. During his first day of testimony, Simpson offered tortured explanations for things he admitted having done and vehemently denied others. First, he claimed that the mark on Nicole’s otherwise beautiful face “would normally be there” because she regularly picked at blemishes and cleaned her face. Every picture I’ve seen of Nicole — except the ones she had taken depicting bruises and cuts she said were inflicted by Simpson — show flawless skin. Simpson did admit that her split lip in one picture “looks like more” than the result of her cleaning process. He took “full responsibility” for her injuries (from face cleaning?) but denied punching or slapping her. “I rassled (sic) her out of the room,” he said in describing one of their heated confrontations. “What happened outside, when she fell, I don’t know. Maybe my hand was on her face.... I had her in a headlock at some point,... I was rassling her, so ifs possible I touched her throat.” This is like admitting to pushing your wife at the top of the stairs but denying responsibility for injuries she received on the way down. In another incredible claim, Simpson testified that entries made in Nicole’s diary recording their many fights were true — except the parts where she recounts his verbal abuse and threats. Simpson is still unable to identify anyone who saw him between 9:35 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. on June 12, 1994, the night Nicole and Goldman were murdered. Neither does he have an explanation for the bloody footprints left by expensive shoes or the gloves found at the murder scene and Simpson’s house. Simpson has been photographed wearing these items, Cal Thomas Syndicated Columnist though he has denied ever owning any of them. Based on what he described in court, Simpson qualifies as a wife batterer. In their book “Treating Men Who Batter,” Ors. P. Lynn Caesar and L. Kevin Hamberger write: “a man is classified as a batterer if he admits to frequent episodes of less severe violence (e.g., pushing, restraining, slapping) or one or more episodes of severe violence (e.g., punching, multiple blows, using a weapon).” For Simpson to suggest that his behavior with Nicole was anything approaching normal is not normal by any definition known to behavioral science. Simpson’s testimony indicates Nicole was a sexual Heisman trophy. Like the defensive tackles he once abused on the gridiron, Nicole got in the way of his ego. She was someone he couldn’t control, and that apparently had a detrimental effect on his warped sense of manhood. Nicole was no saint, but she didn’t deserve to be murdered. Neither did Goldman, an innocent victim. The prosecution in the civil proceeding seems to present the evidence with more powerful momentum and damaging effect. Simpson may be found guilty this time, in which case he will lose some money. But he will still have his life and his freedom, which is considerably more than Nicole and Goldman have. Hi,tedium ioe)pnvifrwe„ we to cha nga Hip, farmer Price index dud ase acne money/ » Letter to the Editor No now texas moons tho lima unfair system Editor, I walked into a government office the other day to pay a fee to renew the tags for my vehicle and while standing in line waiting for my number to be called I wondered how many other fees or taxes I must pay. Upon doing a little research, I found that the majority of us in this nation pay about eight types of state and local taxes at one time or another. A general sales tax, which is a tax on most items at retail stores and is usually collected at purchase. Selected sales taxes are on certain kinds of items, such as tobacco, alcoholic beverages and the like. Property taxes arc on property, for example real estate, stocks and bonds, securities and movable property. Personal income taxes, which I am glad we are in Texas because we are not required to pay. A corporate income tax is levied on a corporation or business firm. Estate and gift taxes are usually on property and gifts left in a will. Severance taxes are on the “act” of removing the min- Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 345th day of 1996 There are 21 days left in the year. -*-■*    tM    IHafnin voiiift mgraigm in riisiory* On Dec 10,1906, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War On this date: An 1920, Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant or face excommunication. In 1017, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state In IMO, women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory. In 1000, a treaty was signed in Paris official ending the Spanish-American War. In IMI, Jane Addams became a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American woman so erals or other natural resources, such as coal, oil and gas. Last but not least are licenses and fees that charge a flat rate im motor vehicles, motor vehicle operators, hunting and fishing. I also learned that the state and local governments use a mixture of these taxes to raise revenue (StoulTer, Opheim, Day 1996). Certain terms kept popping up as I inquired on, such as proportionate, regressive and progressive systems of taxing. I didn’t know which system of taxing I was in or, for that matter, that there were different tax systems. The proportionate system would require everyone to pay taxes or support the government in proportion to their individual income. A regressive system is one that the percentage of tax burden is less the greater the income; this didn’t sound fair to me. “A progressive system of taxing is one of which the tax burden is heavier on the rich” (Stouffer, Opheim, Day 1996). Well, I found out which tax system I am in or I should say the state of Texas is. According to the publication “Who Pays,” which listed the statistics for state and local taxes in 1995 of which consisted of the eight mentioned earlier and by the looks of things, we are in a regressive system of taxing. People with incomes less than $ 19,000 pay 9.2 percent of the sales and excise taxes and incomes of the top I percent or people who earn $395,000 or more pay only 1.5 percent of the sales and excise taxes. The same system applies to property taxes where the lowest 20 percent of the income group or people with incomes less than $ 19,000 pay 4.5 percent and the top I percent income group or incomes of $395,000 or more pay 2.7 percent, something does not seem right (“Who Pays,” app. I, page 44). The system of taxing needs to be changed as the information in the publication "Who Pays” suggests to one that is more progressive. The hypothesis of the second part of the article allows us to see the benefits of the top I percent income group with incomes ranging from $395,000 or more paying a higher tax percentage of 7.5 percent. The lower 20 percent of the income group with incomes of $ 19,000 or less would pay 3.9 percent. The “estimated” tax break for the bottom percentage would be about $ 1, 100 dollars a year. I guess we should take a closer look when it comes time to elect our candidates and they are running on a platform of “No New Taxes,” and we should think for a moment “No New Taxes” for whom? We need to readjust our attitudes about taxes and make a time to investigate the facts. The more I read the more I understood that the phrase “No New Taxes” means keeping a regressive tax system. We need a new system of taxing, oh, I know I bit my lip as well and thought to myself, “I haven’t made my way through the current system of taxing with all the confusing terms or what seemed so at first glance.” To maintain the services we enjoy, we need a tax system in which all classes of society pay an equal burden. S. L. Nichols New Braunfels honored. In 1949, the U N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights In 1990, Ralph J. Bunche was presented the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award. In 1999, the first domestic passenger jet flight took place in the United States as a National Airlines Boeing 707 flew 111 passengers from New York to Miami in about 2 1/2 hours. In 1994, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize during ceremonies in Oslo. Norway. In 1M7, singer Otis Redding died in the crash of his private plane in Wisconsin. In 1994, advertising executive Thomas Mosser of North Caldwell. N J., was killed by a mail bomb later blamed on the “Unabomber" Tan ysars *901 Human rights advocate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, saying the honor belonged to all Nazi death camp survivors and their children flva y•ars ago: William Kennedy Smith, accused of raping Patricia Bowman, proclaimed his innocence during his trial in West Palm Beach, Fla. Ona yaar ago: The first group of U S Marines arrived in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to join NATO soldiers sent to enforce peace in former Yugoslavia Today's Birthdays: Actor Harold Gould is 73 Former Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter is 66 Pop singer Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy) is 53 Actress-singer Gloria Loring is 50. Pop-funk musician Walter “Clyde" Orange (The Commodores) is 49 Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tavares is 48. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 45 Actress Susan Dey is 44. Actor-director Kenneth Branagh is 36 Rock musician Scot Alexander (Dishwalla) is 25 Thought for Today: "It is only in romances that people undergo a sudden metamorphosis In real life, even after the most terrible experiences, the main character remains exactly the same “ — Isadora Duncan, American modern dance pioneer (1878-1927). ;

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