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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 17, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A HERALDZEITUNO Ibesday October 17 OPINIONS FORUM LETTERS NKW HERALDZEITUNG New BriUinfels Zcitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Doug Toney Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson Managing Editor Michael Gary News Editor EDITORIAL Dont let flood control slip from Two years ago today torrential rains forced the Guadalupe River and other local tributaries out of their banks sweeping away homes memo ries land lives The terrible flood of Oct tested this community as no other disaster had since the 1972 flood In some ways it seems like just yes and in others it seems like so long ago For Comal County and New Braunfels leaders particularly County Judge Danny Scheel taking steps to protect the flood has been moving at a painfully slow pace He and other folks have been working to build floojd control dams in key watershed areas to stem the tide of another such flood But two years later those dams are not yet built and we are just as vulnerable as we were two years ago today Im sad theres nothing in place at this time should we have another event like we Scheel said this past week But looking at the pace at which government moves sometimes it seems about like the pace of a lame snail I think weve done very well Were thinking about this every day and working on it every week Its not something were hitting on only every few Scheel noted that the county has secured million from the Texas Department of Emergency Management for flood mitigation projects Local officials hope to get another million from this same agency As for the city a drainage ordinance is on the table before council to remedy many of the drainage problems inside the city limits Of course without flood control dams in the county any steps the city takes would be nullified by floodwaters coming down from the hills Even though most county residents do not talk about the flood every day many still live with the emotional physical and financial scars Every rainstorm brings back haunting memories However we cannot forget and we must let our city and county offi cials know that we will never forget what happened that day As time passes finding solutions to our flooding problems could slip from high atop the priority list of city and county business After the 1972 flood this community rallied to build the Blieders Creek dam which saved lives and property during the 1998 flood We must follow the leadership of our predecessors and do what we must to protect our community our property our families our city and our TODAY IN HISTORY BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is Tuesday Oct 17 the 291st day of 2000 There are 75 days left in the year On Oct 17 1777 British forces under Gen John Burgoyne surren dered to American troops in Saratoga in a turning point of the Revolutionary War Space research answers questions Every sentence I utter must be under stood not as an affirmation but as a ques Neils Bohr pioneer in quan tum physics Early twentiethcentury physicist Neils Bohr understood scientific inquiry at its deepest level At its best science is about questions as much as answers about philos ophy as much as facts Our search for answers invariably leads to more questions Most of us living in modern society are impatient We want fast easy answers We want explanations and predictions Witness the popularity of astrologythe pseudo sci ence of using the stars to predict human affairs A small bookstore I visited recently had one book on and more than 20 books on astrology Most newspa pers tarry daily astrological predictions known as horoscopes Astrology is a far cry from the science of celestial bodies astrono my Man has been fascinated by the stars since the dawn of time Those celestial points of light have beautified the night and lifted our eyesand heartsthrough the ages The dis LAMAR SMITH tant stars and planets have given us practical help as well The north star has guided discoverers and adventurers The position of the sun moon and stars told settlers when to plant and har vest their crops And four centuries ago the study of the night sky blossomed into a sci entific revolution Todays space research and technology stands on the shoulders of that revolution As a member of the House Space am able1 tosee firsthatid the impact of scientific research on modern society Many forms of new knowledgefrom environmental protection to better and faster communications by satelliteare due in part to research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration an indepen WRITE EM dent agency of the federal government This research has also helped bring us Teflon nonstick frying pans and safe football hel metsjust two examples of spinoffs from space technology Today NASA receives less than 1 cent for every dollar the federal government spends If NASAs funding was increased to just 1 percent of the nations budget this would help accomplish its two goals more quickly exploring space and helping improve the lives of humans on earth All for only 25 cents more per American each year Space exploration Will answer questions about the origin of the universe the future of our planet and the likelihood of other intelligent life among the stars It will inspire us tweak our curiosity and reward us with knowledge Who knows perhaps some great space discovery will lift our hearts and minds beyond earths problems and unite citizens of the world in a common endeavor Discovering whats really out there is more exciting than reading horoscopes Lamar Smith represents District 21 in the House of SENATORS Phil Gramm RCollege Station Room 370 Russell Senate Office Building Washington 20510 202 2242934 404 E Ramsey Road Antonio TX 78216 Kay Bailey Hutchison RDallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington 20510 202 2245922 Fax 202 2240776 8023 Vantage Drive Suite 460 San Antonio TX 78230 210 3402885 CONGRESSMAN Lamar Smith RSan Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington 20515 202 2254236 11 GONE Loop 410 Suite 640 San Antonio TX 78209 Giro D Rodriguez DSan Antonio Room 323 Cannon House Office Building Washington 20515 202 2251640 Military Suite 115 San Antonio TX 78214 GOVERNOR George W Bush State Capitol Room Box 12428 Austin TX 78711 800 8435789 STATE SENATOR Jeff Wentworth RSan Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410 Suite 720 San Antonio TX 78209 210 8267800 Gores fudging continues Bush can close deal in Debate No 3 Vice President Al Gore had some seri ous repair work to do in the second of three debates this past Wednesday night He was only partially successful Stylistically Gore had a different hair do and his makeup was better Gone were the sighs and eye rolling that char acterized his reactions during the first debate He apologized for the exaggera tions and personal embellishments of the past William Bennett called them in a damning indictment in the Wall Street Gore mostly avoid ed untruths until near the end Gore denied that he is in favor of increasing taxes on energy yet in his book Earth in the he advo cated higher gasoline prices for the express purpose of discouraging energy use He is part of an administration that boosted the federal gas tax to help bal ance the budget but opposes its repeal even in the face of huge projected sur pluses The vice president still wants credit for his wifes brief campaign in the 1980s against filthy and violent song lyrics But he virtually apologized for that earlier position as he and more recently his CAL THOMAS running mate Joseph Lieberman have placed their snouts in Hollywoods cam paign cash trough In 1987 Gore said that Senate hearings he had endorsed two years earlier were a mistake that sent the wrong Was it more wrong than the messages the entertainment industry is sending children Gore who has tried to impress with his supposed encyclopedic retention of the names of world leaders placed the new president of Yugoslavia Vojislav Kostunica in Serbia as its president On socalled hate crimes laws Bush said that the white killers of James Byrd the black resident of Jasper Texas who was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck had been convicted and sentenced to death He didnt see how a hate crimes law could impose a stricter sen tence than death Bush added he opposes a bill by Sen Edward Kennedy D because it does not allow for the death penalty in capital crime cases Bush is in good company Sen Robert Byrd opposes the Kennedy measure for the same reason Gore claimed his prescriptiondrug proposal for seniors kicks in faster than Bushs In fact the Bush plan would begin pending congressional approval almost immediately for the poor until Medicare modernization is completed The Gore plan is phased in during a six year period starting in wish Bush would support means testing on prescrip tion drugs Wealthy people should not be getting a government check for things they can well afford One of Gores biggest whoppers came when he again stated that he had been at the forefront of reinventing govern According to his Web page Gores ideas have reduced the number of federal employees by saving taxpayers billion and leading to the smallest government since John F Kennedy was president But last year the General Accounting Office reviewed Gores reinventinggovernment initiative and found that his claims were inflated and unsubstantiated The GAO selected at random billion worth of spending and could not verify twothirds of it The GAO also cited a number of creative accounting techniques used to make the claim including double counting in which credit was taken for costcutting that had been well under way before Gore got involved and a failure to factor in offset such as employer buy outs Gores ballyhooed 25 percent cut in the staff of the Executive Office of the President came at the cost of reducing the number of people in the Office of National Drug Control Policy Gore has also claimed responsibility for eliminating large numbers of federal regulations But the GAO found only pages were eliminated and that not taken into account were the number of new pages added while these were being removed In some said the report agen cies added more pages than they removed during the pageelimination ini tiative Gore also misstated Bushs position on a Child Health Initiative in Texas In fact Bush signed a measure that covers Texas children and provides an additional million so that children of legal immigrants might also be eligible Gore tried to again sell the public on his support for the Persian Gulf War when former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole has said that Gore shopped his vote in order to get TV face time And Gore admitted that while he once supported sending troops to Somalia to quell violence and feed the starving he now opposes that decision Bush again said he would return some of the surplus to people who pay the bills and that he believed in empowering people not government The traditional Republican taxcut message seems to be resonating with more voters Bush grows more confident and relaxed with each debate In next weeks final encounter in St Louis he has a chance to close the deal with any remaining undecided voters Cat Thomas is a syndicated colum
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