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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - Page 4

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 10, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas                                Page 4A January FORUM OUR OPINION Speaker race ends lawmakers should get to real business Clock is ticking on legislative session as first day ceremony fades and work of making laws divisive vote for the Texas House of Rep resentatives speaker post was avoided Tuesday when Jim Pitts of Waxahachie stepped aside in the twoway race with twoterm Speaker Tom Craddick of Craddick has been criti cized by some as as too heavyhanded and undemocratic in his reign as tout ed as the most powerful job in Texas poli The two Republicans had been locked in a seemingly close battle for the but Craddick seemed to draw ahead when his supporters defeated attempts to have the contest decided in a public vote of repre The thirdterm speaker should take notice of the challenge and not take the Legislature for granted in the months Not everyone supports his and Pitts came close to toppling his fellow The slicing of the Republican partys majority contributed in part to this leadership challenge unlike their federal Texas Republi cans still have the upper hand in making Craddick guided the legislature through its challenge two terms ago to survive a billion With money in this session might be an easier but with school textbooks that to be a TransTexas Corridor that has opponents fuming and jails lawmakers have their work cut out for TODAY IN HISTORY By The Associated Press Today is the 10th day of There are 355 days left in the Todays Highlight in History On Thomas Paine published his influential Common On this date In Florida seceded from the In John Rockefeller incorporated Stan dard In the League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into In the first manmade contact with the moon was made as radar signals were bounced off the lunar In the first General Assembly of the Unit ed Nations convened in In the musical fantasy Finians with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Har opened on In Harold Macmillan became prime min ister of following the resignation of Anthony In Massachusetts Republican Edward the first black person elected to the Senate by popular took his In National Educational Television fore runner of the Public Broadcasting Service operat ed as a true network for die first time as it carried President Johnsons State of the Union In the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than a HeraldZeitung Serving New Rramtfcls ami Comal County since New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until Managingjjdftor Circulation Director MacCromn Fowler Director Business Manager NewsEdltor Valeria HE IS FULLY A HVEWf WEEK HES JUST TOO CHEAP TO BUY ANEW Physician says other ventures distracted from medical mission I have lived in New Braunfels since 1978 and have seen many changes in our medical com I know many of you and have been involved in the surgical care of thousands of people in this I have always been a strong supporter of our hospital and have donated money to various fund whether to the hospital or to McKenna Health Link I am not very satisfied with the recent deci sion of the McKenna Board and Brierty to offer the hospital for In I feel that there was too much restructuring of administrative positions at our hospital and too much overlap of hospital business with other Foundation There is much to be said for When health care organizations begin to expand into ventures like a childrens muse um and retirement administra tive attention becomes The health care field is but we nonetheless provided excellent care and uti lized our existing facilities It was frustrating for many of us to have to transfer patients for services we could not I feel like the community would have given willingly to expand our and I also feel that a hospital bond offering would have been successful had these avenues been more care fully Karbach wrote a letter recently and men tioned that who could be in better touch with the community than the people who live in I agree with this We are now in a situation where an outside entity with no ties to our community may be dictating health care to our Whether such an organi zation will be willing to provide a sophisticat ed cardiac care dialysis and other improvements remains to be I cannot help but feel that our hospital board and failed in what was their primary responsibility to the com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR munity to provide a medical facility that was capable of keeping up with the popula tion growth and services required for this I feel like too much effort was focused on ven tures that did not have much to do with the health care services we Respectfully Michael New Braunfels Why hasnt Gruene Road park property not been developed I must comment on the following state ment As the community continues to additional parkland is needed to provide an escape for local residents from urban hustle and Its been more than 30 years since the last park was added to the New Braunfels parks Officials say Fischer Park will ease pressure on the existing parkland open to the In addition to buying the money must be set aside to develop it appropri The city of New Braunfels purchased park property during the late Robert Kindricks term on the The purchased land is at the corner of Torrey and Gruene Of NO improvements have been made to this Irene Allen New Braunfels LETTERS POLICY Letters must be 250 words or HeraldZeitung reserves the right to edit all Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be Mail letters to Letters to Editor HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New TX 781311328 Fax them to email them to United StatM Government PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH 1600 Pennsylvania NW 20500 KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 20510 Telephone 202 2245922 Fax 202 2240776 Web Send emails through Web SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 145 Duncan Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone 210 3402885 Fax 210 3496753 JOHN CORNYN Russell SenateHart Room 517 Telephone 202 2242934 Fax 202 2282856 Web Send emails through Web AUSTIN OFFICE 221 West Sixth Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone 512 4696034 Fax SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 600 Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone 210 2247485 Fax 210 2248569 CONGRESSMAN LAMAR SMITH Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 20515 Telephone 202 2254236 Fax 202 2258628 Web address Send emails through Web SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 1100 NE Loop Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone 210 8215024 Fax 210 8215947 HENRY CUELLAR 1404 Longworth House Office Building 20515 Telephone 202 2251640 Fax 202 2251641 Web address SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 1149 Commerce Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone 210 2712851 Fax 210 2776671 HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government GOVERNOR RICK PERRY State Room Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone 800 8435789 Fax 512 4631849 NATHAN MACIAS 1100 Congress Austin TX 78701 Telephone 512 4630325 Email address nathan.macias@house.state.tx.us STATE SENATE JEFF WENTWORTH 1250 NE Loop Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone 210 8267800 WHILE IN AUSTIN Telephone 8888246984 Email address JUDITH ZAFFIRINI Box 627 Laredo 780420627 Porkbarrel spending should be the first target of Senate ethics reform CALTHOMAS Cat Thomas is a colum nist for Tribune Media Services Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to Tribune Media 435 Michigan Suite or leave an email at When one is people look for changes in behavior that testify to a transformation of heart and The new House Democratic majority has announced its con version on matters of institutional and individual Now comes the watching and waiting to measure the depth of their Initial signs leave room for cautious opti or depending on ones in people who have created the problem to provide the Liken it to how much trust one might place in an embezzler who is put in charge of bank or a serial liar who is asked to devise an honor House Democrats touted their ethics reform among other requires lawmakers to attach their names to the also known as they slip into spending and tax meas In members would be required to reveal if they have any personal interest in the Suspicion as to whether who have long engaged in bipartisan pork barrel spending with are seri ous about going on the wasteful spending wagon quickly were raised when Charles the new chairman of the House Ways and Means You have to assume that everything we have done is subject to a These things are not locked in The earmark legislation is also tied to the Democrats proposed pay as you go rule that would keep the House from adding to the deficit with new tax cuts or entitlement spending without offsetting them with spending cuts or tax Republi cans see that as stealth tax The New York Times reported that the earmark measure could prevent the kind of corruption that led to several big scan dals in recent including former Rep resentative Randy Cunninghams sale of earmarks to government contractors for gifts and campaign Not According to Citizens Against Govern ment Waste which has published a Guide to Earmark Projects such as digitization of Department of Defense which helped land for mer Randy Duke Cunningham in would not require sponsor identifica tion because the funds were directed to not a specific In that situ the company that eventually received funding for the project had bribed This is not the only potential loophole in the ethics rules The ultimate goal of earmark writes should be the elimination of all porkbarrel proj ects from the federal That is not likely to so CAGW proposes the ultimate in transparency and accountabil ity in order to reduce the number and overall cost of such The new House rule defines a congres sional earmark as a provision or report language included primarily at the request of a Resident Commis or Senator authorizing or recommending a specific amount of discretionary budget credit or other spending authority for a loan loan authority or other expenditure with or to an or targeted to a specific locality or Congressional other than through a statutory or administrative formula driven or competitive award Clear now CAGW says the House definition of an earmark falls short in two In addi tion to the one mentioned above regard ing the Pentagon and Randy Cunning It omits projects earmarked for more than one state and those designated for federal For the fiscal 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill includes for wood utilization research in Michi North Caroli Washington and West The House rules would not require the identification of a sponsor of this Republicans will have little credibility advocating that these or tougher rules be placed in They have been at the spending trough as much as Neither will President Bush have much influence as he for spending because he has refused to veto a single spending The Senate this week considers revising its ethics Dont look for the king of Robert to take the antipork That would be like ask ing Britney Spears to convert to respon sible Any real reform will be up to we the A good beginning can be found in the CAGW   

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