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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 6, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4 Q HeraldZeitung g Thursday February Opinion To talk with Managing Editor Micah Boyd about the Opinion page call 6259144 Ext 220 Q U O T A B L The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press have not been granted to the people in order that they may say the things which please but that they have the right to say the tilings which Samuel Gompers labor leader 1908 O R I A L Good intention bad idea Relocating animal species hasnt always been successful Grass Carp to kill off the hydrilla it sound like a good idea but is it Mankind has a pretty bad record of relocating animal species into new ecosystems Whether done on purpose or accidentally the results of these transplants have been unpredictable In the 19th century some misguided individuals thought it would be a clever idea to introduce all of the bird species that were mentioned in Shakespeares works to North America Now the starling has become a serious threat to less aggressive cavity nesters like woodpeckers When rabbits were introduced to Australia as game ani mals they lived up to the cliche and multiplied They com peted with the livestock that were the backbone of the economy and had a devastating impact Feral hogs are now threatening what little rain forest is left in Hawaii I have spoken with more than one farmer who voices regret that they introduced grass carp into their stock tanks The rtsh soon eat away the vegetation that is important pror tection for smaller fish When the baitfish go the predators that depend on them are not far behind These carp eat away at the bottom of the food chain There is now evidence that the fish may be making their way down stream toward the coast How will they affect that fragile ecosystem It seems reasonable that the introduction of a wildlife species to a new environment should be last on our list of solutions to such problems as hydrilla not because we nec essarily know it is bad for the environment but because of the uncertainties It is risky and the stakes are too high Todays editorial was written by HeraldZeitungNews Editor Steve Write us The New Bmunfels HeraldZeitung 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 260 words Wo publish only original mail addressed to the New Bmunfels 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 pre vious 30 days Mail letters to Letters to the Editor the New Bmunfels HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Texas 781311328 Fax 210 6251224 New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Editor and Publisher Ext Toney Managing Editor Ext Boyd Director ol Advertising Ext BantaScott Retail Advertising Manager Ext Classified Advertising Manager Ext Reinlnger Business Manager Ext Lee Hall Circulation Director Ext Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman Ext Parnell Published on Sunday mornings and weekday momings Tuesday through Friday by the New Bnuoifels HenittZvilwg USPS 377880 707 Lamia Si or Draw 311328 New Braunfels Comul County Tx 78131 1328 Periodical postage paid by the Nw Brauifils tltmildZvItwiis in New Braunfcls Tcxna Carrier delivered in Coma and Guadalupe counties three months six months one year Senior Discounts by earner delivery only six months one year Mail delivery outside Coma 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 6239144 or by 7 weekdays or by 11 on Sunday POSTMASTER Send address changes to he HvraldZvitung Draw Opinion To submit tetters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet or to simply contact staff members the HeraldZeitungs address is Time to change home equity statutes Imagine salting away a hefty chunk of your paycheck into a savings account every month but being pro hibitcd by the government from mak ing withdrawals for major purchases such as financing your childs college education going back to school or cre ating a small business Thats exactly the situation many Texas homeowners face with an estimated 123 billion in equity assets tied up in their homes and out of reach due to a state home stead law that restricts second mort gages I believe this constitutional limit on home equity loans should be modi fled because it restricts statewide econom ic development hinders small busi ness expansions and costs Texans consume more when they borrow money Under current law liens cannot be placed on homesteads except to pay for the house make home improvements or settle taxes due This restrictions roots go all the way back to the early 1800s when many early settlers were fleeing creditors and coming to Texas during a national economic depression to make a new start Starting with a sweeping homestead exemption law recommended by Stephen F Austin to protect colonists land grants the idea has continued to be legislated and enforced up until today As we enter a new century in agriculture oppo sition to changing the law remains strong among some farmers and ranchers who fear that they will be pressured to use their homes as they now use their land as collateral for production loans However with specific provisions to address this concern and others I believe changing the exemption could open a new source of lowcost loans to Texas consumers and at the same time help boost the states economy Like many working Texans a large portion of my paycheck goes toward house payments So it should be my personal choice and responsibility if I want to borrow against equity that I have built up in my home over the years After all its the fruit of my own labor Borrowing against your hardearned equity is a basic private property right in every state except Texas If I am reliable enough to put a down pay ment on a home maintain it in good shape and pay taxes and insurance then I also should be responsible enough to know when I can borrow on its equity and repay a loan A home equity borrowing program should be tailored to meet the needs of Texas Safeguards should be included in any changes made to the law so that homeowners are not unduly pressured to borrow on their home equity Ultimately changing the homestead law would give many Texans access to lower cost loans Unlike other loans interest on home equity borrowing is tax deductible from federal income taxes and on average the interest rates are lower than on oth er types of loans If home equity bor rowing were allowed Texas con sumers and businesses could save an estimated million annually in interest costs and tax savings accord ing to an April report by the Texas Comptrollers office For example annual savings on a four year loan could be on a educational loan a year on an auto loan and more than a year over financing on credit card debts Texas homeowners should be grant ed access to their home equity sav ings The current ban is designed more to protect us from ourselves than to protect us from bankers If you as a homeowner feel that tak ing out a second mortgage on your home is too risky you should simply not borrow against your equity While consumer protection provi sions should be placed in the law bor rowing against your homes equity should be a choice that is up to each individual homeowner Lets open up those thousands of closed savings accounts across Texas Lets help boost our states economy Lets give Texans access to money they need to finance dreams like earn ing an advanced degree starting a small business or giving their children the best college education that money can buy Rick Perry is the Texas commis sioner of Selfimprovement a neverending commitment John Ingram Walker To advance your career requires con stant selfimprovement Knowledge paves the road to riches Knowledge can be gained through experience edu cation and reading Those people who have knowledge and continually improve themselves advance further than their peers For example a highly educated articulate and attractive 38yearold woman came to see me because she was depressed and frustrated Her hus band had a successful career and her two teenagers were gradually and appropriately pulling away from her as they had their own normal teenage lives to lead school sports cheer leading etc My patient felt neglected and unimportant Is this all there is to she asked Junior League and car pooling We made a career goal for her to get a job She decided she wanted to work for the local university but pickings were slim and the only thing she could land was a transcriptionist job for the department at the medical school She took the job to get experi ence and to learn about the inner work Today in History The Associated Press Today is Thursday Feb 6 the 37th day of 1997 There are 328 days left in the year Todays Highlight in History On Feb baseball legend Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore Onthiidate In 1756 Americas third vice president Aaron Burr was born in Newark In 1778 the United States won official recognition from France as the two nations signed a pair ojf treaties in Paris In 1788 Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify he In 1899 a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the Senate In 1933 the 20th Amendment to the Constitu tion the lame duck amendment which moved the start of presidential vicepresidential aiu con gressional terms from March to January was declared in effect ings of the univer sity After a while she felt confident that her talents lay in something dif ferent And so she altered her goal to get a job in the Development Office Writing that goal down and reading it every day gave her the inspiration to spread the word that she was seeking a job in the Development Office Several months later she got a call there was a development job available as secretary to the director of Special Events She took the job and changed her goal become director of Special Events She worked hard at learning everything about Special Events She was extremely helpful and coopera tive with her boss She began dressing better like the director of Special Events She set out to become indis pensable She decided to make herself unique She began writing a memo a day on ways to improve things at the Development Office Several months later when the direc tor of Special Events was promoted to the director of Alumni Affairs my patient became the new director of Special Events She cultivated a steady devotion to selfimprovement to develop a satisfying career Here are some suggestions for self improvement goals 1 Read one book a learn more and be more effective in whatever you do Heres a startling statistic only 3 percent of adults have a library card Start reading and youll be in the top 3 percent and youll have an enormous edge because most people read less than one book a year 2 Listen to audio cassette learning tapes when youre driving in a car If you drive miles a year you spend approximately 500 hours a year in your automobile This travel trans lates into the equivalent of a universi ty semester Spending 500 hours a year listening to audio cassette programs in your car can provide the critical edge that can propel you toward success 3 Join Toastmasters International to learn to speak more fluently If you can put your thoughts into words youll no doubt advance your career Join ing Toastmasters can help you leam to set your words on fire and fire others to action 4 Build your vocabulary Vocabu lary testing done for innumerable busi ness concerns indicates that your climb up the corporate ladder depends on the power of your vocabulary The more words you know understand and can use the higher youll be in the pay scale The list of selfimprovement goals cart go on forever Would you like to play a musical instrument Learn a foreign language Keep your list sim ple and achievable No more than two or three selfimprovement goals at a time Keep a daily log of your progress Have fun seeing yourself learning something new and accomplishing something worthwhile John Ingram Walker writes a weekly column for the Herald In 1943 a Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rope In 1952 Britains King George VI died he was succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth II In 1959 the United States successfully testfired for the first time a Titan Intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral In 1978 Muriel Humphrey took the oath of office as a United States senator from Minnesota filling the seat of her late husband former Vice President Hubert Humphrey Tin yean Reporter Gerald Scib of The Wall Street Journal was released after being detained six days in Tehran Hed been accused of being a spy for Israel Iran said the detention was a result of misun derstandings Five years ago Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton denied hed firjed tp the Vietnam draft saying he gave up a draft deferment in the fall of 1969 because hj didnt think it waj right IQ keep it President Bush I fwaluVcare plaji for most Ajnericajis Sixteen peppJ wf re killed when a C130 military transport plane crashed in Evans ville Ind One year ago A Turkishowned Boeing 757 jet liner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from the Dominican Republic killing 189 people mostly German tourists Patrick Buchanan won the Louisiana Republican caucus upsetting PhilGramrn Todays Birthdays Former President Ronald Reagan is 86 Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor is 80 Actor Patrick MacNee is 75 Actor Rip Tom is 66 Actor Mike Parrel is 58 NBC news anchorman Tom Brokaw is 57 Singer Fabian iji 54 Actress Oayle Hunnicutt is 54 Actor Michael Tucker is Singer Natalie Cole is 47 Actordirector Robert Townsend is 40 Actress Megan Gallagher is 37 Rock singer Axl Rose Guns N Roses is 35 Coun try singer Richie McDonald Lpnestar is 35 Singer RickAstleyis3l Thought for Today Work is much more fun than sjf Noel Coward British actor
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