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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 22, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A HERALDZEITUNG August 2001 FORUM Contact Managing Editor Margaret Edmonsoh at 6259144 NKW BKAUNFKLS HERALDZEITUNG New Bratinfcls Zcitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until Doug Editor and Publisher Margaret Managing Editor Brian News Editor 830 6259144 Editorial Water fight goes to court The fight over Canyon Lake water now heads to The Friends of Canyon Lake filed a lawsuit Monday in a Travis County District Court over the Guadalupe Blanco River Authoritys new permit to take acre feet of water out of Canyon Lake every This is a battle that was fought before the Texas Natural Resource Conservation which denied the Canyon Lake group status in any talks regarding GBRAs amendment applica TNRCC instead asked GBRA and the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited to negotiate an and thats what they On GBRA got Its permit which means more surface water can be diverted western Comal Kendall County Bexar Trinity Aquifer users are look ing forward to tapping this water because the aquifer is and some neighborhoods are having to truck in water because their wells can not keep up with the The Canyon Lake residents and businesses also have their own water chief among them is how lower lake levels will affect recre ation and business at the The group says it has no problem with providing water to western Comal County and the people who truly need it they just want to make sure that Canyon Lake is GBRA general manager Bill West said he was not surprised the Friends of Canyon Lake filed He should not have The Friends of Canyon Lake were ignored once before by TNRCC they had no reason to expect TNRCC would listen to any more Water is the next Texas and Comal County is finding out how valuable that gold will be in terms of attorneys and court Today in History BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is the 234th day of There are 131 days left in the Todays Highlight in Histo ry On the schooner America outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that became known as the Ameri cas In Englands King Richard III was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Dont mess with Veterans Day There never seems to be a lack of but illconceived A case in point is the National Commission on Federal Election Reform proposal to combine Election Day with Veterans Day during even numbered The intent is to make voting more accessible by observ ing Veterans Day on the Tuesday following the first Monday of which is when Election Day is By combining Election Day with a national so theory voters would have more free time to access their precinct polling hence more would While Im all for encour aging more citizens to capLkjmagine changing the elate for hon oring those who served in our nations which has long been November These fine men and women sacrificed so much on our and often suffered extreme injury and Is it too much to ask for a day dedi cated solely to their memo ry I admit Im biased toward I happen to be my dad was and so were my grandfa thers and their I also believe the right to vote is Im convinced voters at least those in Texas Letters Policy The New Braunfels Her aldZeitung encourages let ters on any public DAVID DEWHURST have ample opportunities to cast their ballots and dont need a national holi day to make their voices In early voting is available from the 17th day before Election to the fourth day During this period of about two registered vot ers can cast their ballots at any early voting site in their in contrast to Election when they must vote in their precinct polling Some com munities even have mobile early voting at places like senior activity shopping maus and gro cery Its also possible to vote early by mail in provided you are either 65 or or will be out of your county on both Election Day and the early voting For details on early voting by please contact the early voting clerk in your or visit the Texas Secretary of States Web site at only a dozen states offered early voting for their citizens prior to last years Election As Texans have clearly many would rather have a couple of weeks to vote at their con during normal at any early voting site in their than to stand in a long line at their precinct polling places on Election Before we break a time honored tradition by mov ing Veterans Day to Election all states should first implement early If that isnt convenient I doubt lumping Election Day with Veterans Day will make any difference On behalf of our men and women in both past and please make your feelings known to Tell them we Day to remain Veterans and Election Day to remain Election Our veterans and elections are both vital and merit their own distinctive special which is how its been for many Lets show our gratitude to Americas veterans by con tinuing to honor them every It may not seem important to some but it means a lot to those who served in our and to those who honor David Dewhurst is Tkxas Land Commissioner and chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Letters to the Editor the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New TX 781311328 LAMAR SMITH Equality of opportunity Recently I witnessed a heartwarming On a sunny day in San I saw two mothers each push ing their young child in a They walked side by chatting happi oblivious to the world around As I smiled inwardly and an unpleasant thought One mother and child was the other mother and child was The unset tling thought was that each child might not be treated though they appeared to be similarly situ I thought how innocent those children were about the controversy over affirma tive I guessed that when the children grew up both would be offended that special treatment for one was needed or Maybe Im but I believe that people deserve equality of not equality of Noted BlackAmerican Scholar Thomas Sowell has pointed out three weakness es in affirmative it runs the risk of promoting inadequately trained minority members over adequately trained non the minority stu dent or contractor or police officer runs the risk of being scorned by peers for having gained their position of color rather than And affirmative action casts a shadow over the entire group being favored and is therefore ulti mately unfair to the minority who is How do we eliminate the discrimination that still exists How do we make sure that every child has adequate opportunities When it comes to govern ment common sense should be the And the answer lies in narrowly focusing on the problem and helping only those who have not been given equal oppor I dont think that these two mothers in years to their two adult would want it any other Lamar Smith represents District 21 in the House of Texas justice system not fair to poor AUSTIN lets try this We now have one of the highest execution rates in the entire Here are the numbers accord ing to Amnesty International and some math In four coun tries around the world accounted for 88 percent of all the execu tions the United China and Saudi Nobody else is even in the though there is no reliable information from In Texas one state out of was responsible for 47 percent of the executions in Here are the best esti mates for numbers per capita using the highest not from of execu tions in China the number that sent the humanrights peo ple into a frenzy over the Beijing Iran executes one for every China exe cutes one for every peo Texas executes one for every and the Saudis one for every So were not rock were doing better than the Saudis a role normally MOLLY IVINS played for us by Lets not try for the Olympics anytime I saw a great prodeathpenalty cartoon the other day in Thaddeus and Weez a Texas cartoon two little angels with halos are flying and one asks the Were you killed by a teenage murder er or an insane murderer or a retarded murderer or a just plain murderer Then they fly off holding The message is obvious It doesnt make any difference to the victim why it dead is But the law makes all kinds of distinctions in all kinds of Michael former dean of the UT Law who is agnostic on the death penal points out that the difference between misdemeanor theft and felony theft is one You dont hear prosecutors going around this guy didnt steal but he did steal so lets go for a felony Napoleon Beazley wasnt 18 when he committed a terrible he was The law says you can drink legally when you are 21 years but not when you are 20 11 months and 29 days In a lot of the law says you can be executed for murder if your IQ is but not if its A pregnant woman can get an abortion in the first trimester for almost any but by the third trimester she must show a serious threat to her life or If you look at its one long process of drawing Until 1898 in could not be convicted of statutory rape if the woman was older than Such decisions are not handed down from on high to theyre handed up from the bowels of the Texas Legislature which should only be seen by consenting In Beazley is black and he killed a prominent white If youve lived in this state long enough to consider yourself a you know a white man who kills a black man is unlikely to get the death Highly It has happened exactly three Its not only the race of the murderer and the race of the vic tim that skew the system we give radically different sentences in Texas from one jurisdiction to As a youll ished much more harshly in a small city or rural area espe cially if the local prosecutor is looking to make his bones before the next election than you would be in a big where theres so much crime they plead a lot of cases out to avoid the expense of a None of this makes Napoleon Beazley but it does make the system Of all the things that throw our justice system out of the biggest is Straight the thing thats most likely to get you the death penalty hi this state is being Thats when they give you the lawyer who sleeps through the is under the influence during the trial the lawyer who is over underpaid arid inexpe rienced the incompetent lawyer the lawyer who doesnt investi gate your case or find your wit nesses the lawyer who doesnt present your DNA evidence the lawyer who doesnt file your appeal in time and so on through the horrifying list of everything that goes Murderers who dont get the death penalty arent less they have better If you think the death penalty in this state is try the rest of The death penalty is the tip of the Weve got kids with firstoffense felonies as minors and no one hurt doing 50 and Murder Two perps doing Our whole system is bollixed up throughout poverty and unequal Molly Ivins is a syndicated
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