New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, February 8, 2000, Page 6

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

February 08, 2000

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Issue date: Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Pages available: 28

Previous edition: Sunday, February 6, 2000

Next edition: Wednesday, February 9, 2000

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 8, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, February 8, 2000Opinions FORUM Letters New R&&Unfkls Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Zeicung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 11^ I "he two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor www.herald-zeitung.com KU D o s On Tuesday. Jan. 25. the Herald-Zeitung was kind enough to print mv letter thanking many Christians for their love and support after my wife Mary’s illness and death. However, in writing my final copy of the letter. I skipped several lines of my rough draft. These lines also contained some great folks and organizations including Gods chosen people My thanks to Betty Vosika of The Hair Depot, who kept Mary’s hair looking pretty, even driving to our home to do it when it became necessary; Gladys Barding at the Comal County Senior Citizen Center, who saw that God’s earth angels had wonderful hot meals delivered to us daily; and Roland Bradftite and his brother Bryon and their sons Roland Jr. and Cameron. These caring men were always available to listen whenever I needed to talk. So many people placed us on their prayer lists in Catholic and Protestant churches, both locally and around the area. We also were on prayer lists in Jewish synagogues in Fort Worth and Portland, Ore. Isn’t God great? John B. Morrow New Braunfels Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Tuesday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2000. There are 327 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Feb. 8, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated. On this date: In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War began. In 1915, D.W Griffith’s silent movie epic about the Civil War, “ The Birth of a Nation,” premiered in Los Angeles. In 1922, President Harding had a radio installed in the White House. In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City. In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, S.C. during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley. In 1973, Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal. In 1974, the three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space. In 1978, the deliberations of the Senate were broadcast on radio for the tirst time as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter unveiled a plan to re-introduce draft registration. In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores. Ten years ago: CBS News suspended resident humorist Andy Rooney for racial comments he supposedly made to a gay magazine, comments Rooney denied making. Five years ago: The U.N. Security Council approved sending 7,000 peacekeepers to Angola to cement an accord ending 19 years of civil war. Surgeon General nominee Henry Foster said in an ABC interview he’d performed 39 abortions — more than three times as many as previously stated. One year ago: The Senate heard closing arguments at President Clinton’s impeachment trial, with House prosecutors challenging senators to “cleanse the office” and the president’s attorney dismissing the case as one of partisan retribution. Jordan’s King Hussein was laid to rest during a five-hour funeral in Amman attended by dignitaries from all over the world, including President Clinton and former presidents Bush, Carter and Ford. Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jack Lemmon is 75. Composer-conduc-tor John Williams is 68. ABC News anchor Ted Koppel is 60. Actor Nick Nolte is 59. Comedian Robert Klein is 58. Country singer Dan Seals is 52. Singer Ron Tyson is 52. Letters to the EditorCouncil leaving public no choice on Walnut Dear Editor: I'm greatly outraged at the drainage and street bond which the city has proposed. The “sneaky” way in which they put the Walnut project into this bond will not only affect our taxes but will affect the historical value of our city and the people who live in these wonderful homes. First, I believe the council doesn't even consider the importance of the homes. New Braunfels has a creative appeal which those from a big city could only relish. Each street has its own personality and historical value. It would be a shame to destroy those homes from the past for a future project. Second, people live in the homes which the council would like to tear down! No one person can convince me to tear down my house so that a wider street can be put in for the sole purpose of knocking a couple of extra minutes off of my travel time. Not to mention spending $8 million dollars of the taxpayer’s money to create this project. In conclusion, I commend Juliet Watson when she pointed out that the Walnut project should be a separate proposition. Also, Mr. Alexander stressed, “If Walnut’s going to fail, the whole thing will fail.” Putting the Walnut project under the same issue as street and drainage repair was the council’s choice, not the public’s choice. Think about this issue for one moment: If, in the future, we the voters voted for any street and drainage proposition, does this mean that the city could come and take our homes for any reason they see fit? That’s exactly what the council is proposing in this proposition. Therefore, the council has left the public no choice but to vote “NO” on the bond. Shelly White New BraunfelsElian was victim of kidnapping Dear Editor: I guess I have waited long enough and listened to the story and all the goings-on in Miami. Has everyone forgotten that the father is the legal guardian of the little boy? That the little boy was actually kidnapped by his motlier, who had only the right to see him over the weekends? What do you call it w hen somebody takes off with a child that is in somebody else’s custody? That is “kidnapping” and these people get rewarded by keeping the child? No, they should be prosecuted, and that is what should have happened to the so-called relatives in Miami. By trying to keep the child away from their father, who is not a criminal, but has sole custody of this little boy. They should be treated as kidnappers, too. What would you do, if your child was kidnapped, taken into another country and given to a very wealthy family, who is able to give him much more than you ever could give him? Would you say, “Please keep him?” I don’t believe that. You, too, would fight for him, and do what ever you could to get him back. The U.S.A. is not heaven on earth for everyone who lives here. We have many poor people who live on the streets, even many of our ex-military people who have at some time put their lives on the line for our country are now living without a home or belongings. Who can guarantee a good life for this boy? Who has a father who loves him and wants him back? How can people be so cruel to refuse a father the return of his child? Please think about that. Not only the governor from Florida, but also the Supreme Court, should have helped the father get reunited with his son, in the country he wishes to live in, Cuba. Mrs. Erie Mourn New BraunfelsNBISD in right direction with calendar Dear Editor: I read with interest the recent article regarding NBISD debating the school calendar. I understand that the late-August school start date is something new for this district and I sincerely hope the parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders will give the change a fair chance. Change is difficult and, as in any situation, takes time to work out all the kinks. New Braunfels is heading in the right direction. In fact, according to the Texas Poll, released last summer, three out of four Texas families support a later school start date, with the majority supporting starting after Labor Day. The need to administer exams before the holiday break has been an argument frequently used when trying to convince non-educators of the benefit of an early school start date. The fact is, after extensive research, I have found no evidence to support that when a student takes an exam has any impact on education. What has become apparent is that the discussion between retention and regurgitation is one that needs our full attention. According to Dr. Steve Smith, Texas A&M University Department of Psychology, when you test a student in no way reflects what has been learned. Dr. Smith explained that if you are measuring what the student understands and will be able to transfer to his/her life, the best time to test a student is after a break in the learning cycle — a month or more after the semester has ended. After reviewing this argument with educators and after researching test scores in districts across Texas, as well as in the top national school districts, it is clear that when you administer exams has nothing to do with academic performance. In fact the states with the best SAT scores all administer mid-term exams after a holiday break. Many high school teachers and guidance counselors have told me this argument can be put to rest by using common sense. The week before Christmas is the most hectic of the year for most of us. Among children, attention spans are the shortest and concentration the lowest before any scheduled vacation or holiday. Is this the best time to test our students? When setting the school calendar we must remember the goal of education teaching students skills and knowledge she will retain throughout her life. When we administer exams in no way impacts what a child has or has not learned. The bottom line is simple, calendars do not teach our children; teachers do.Tina Bruno Executive Director Texans for a Traditional School Year John Rocker goes to (re-education) camp In Communist societies, when people say or write something that is regarded by the authorities as counter-revolutionary, they are sent to re-education camp in order to get their minds straightened out. To facilitate the re-education process, the reluctant camper is often subjected to physical and psychological torture. In America we have the same thing. We call it sensitivity training. Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker is being sent to our version of a re-education camp until he recites the words major league baseball wants him to say. Whether he believes them is less important than whether he utters them. The gods of political correctness must be appeased. It gives an entirely new meaning to the word “bullpen.” Rocker has apologized for remarks he made in a magazine interview about gays, minorities, foreigners and New York City. For those remarks he was Cal Thomas fined $20,000 and suspended until May I, possibly hurting his team’s chances at winning the pennant. Rocker said it is “appropriate that I should be disciplined for my misguided speech unaccompanied by any conduct on my part,” but he believes the penalty exceeds the infraction. The baseball players’ union filed a grievance to overturn the suspension that will be considered by an independent arbitrator. Perhaps major league baseball would do its players and fans a service by publishing a list of remarks it considers tol erable and which words will send the offending players to the sensitivity showers. For example, should a player blaspheme, will he be required to do penance to the offended religion? Players regularly question the visual acuity of umpires. If the blind are offended, would players be forced to walk around with blindfolds so they might be sensitized to how it feels to be visionless? Our senses are regularly assaulted by offensive entertainment and political speech. Politicians lie to us. Journalists and show hosts editorialize against Republicans and conservatives. Rarely are there apologies for such affronts. Has any entertainer or politician been forced into sensitivity training to clean up his or her act? The Rev. Jesse Jackson was not pressured to take sensitivity training when he called New York City “Hymietown.” When Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan denounces Jews and whites, no one suggests he be sensitively trained. Were the Rev. Al Sharpton held to the same standard as John Rocker, he would be a permanent sensitivity training camper. Who will conduct this “training” and how? Does major league baseball think that Rocker’s mind will change about the things he has believed, or will his prejudices simply be forced underground? Baseball doesn’t seem to care, just so the story gets out of the newspapers so baseball can go back to doing what it does best: making money. This is not an excuse for Rocker’s inappropriate behavior, but let’s see how long the sensitivity trainers could put up with what Rocker has been subjected to in New York. During last season’s playoffs, Mets “fans” spit in his face, poured beer on him and hurled verbal insults. Yankees “fans” threw batteries at Rocker, which could have resulted in a career-ending injury. Will anyone force these “fans” to undergo sensitivity training? Where are the First Amendment advocates who like to defend free speech? Why aren’t they coming to bat for Rocker? Or is the right to free speech granted only to certain people? If Rocker possessed the power to deprive one of his verbal targets of their rights, that might call for stronger action, but the guy simply spoke words. Whatever happened “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” If major league baseball will now regulate speech, and then only certain kinds of speech, it’s become a camp of its own: Camp Run-amok. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) ■■■■■■ mm ;

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