New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, April 1, 2007, Page 4

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

April 01, 2007

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Issue date: Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pages available: 68

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 1, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, April 1, 2007 FORUM Our Opinion Health awareness helps to save lives The tens of thousands of people registered for the Susan B. Komen foundation’s Race for the Cure in San Antonio on Saturday is a testament to the importance people place on beating cancer. On April 27, local residents will take to the track at Canyon High School for the Relay for Life event to remember There is never j loved ones lost to cancer, a better time to I those fighting the disease improve your    and those who have fought lifestyle than I ^ won. . j „ , A hese organizations, yesterday. But j am()ng otlfers. and the doing it today • celebrities who have made is the next best j their fight with cancer visiting.    j    hie, including Lance Arm strong, Sharon Osbourne and Melissa Etheridge, have be been part of a mass movement toward cancer awareness and finding a cure for this killer. For previous generations, the “C” word was a death sentence. And still, it strikes fear like nothing else. However, thanks to the efforts of cancer awareness campaigners, medical researchers, doctors and people who now regularly get tested, cancer is not the certain death it once was. While there is still a long way to go, pause and consider how far we’ve come. There is no doubt that awareness and proactive decisions save lives. And cancer is not the leading killer of Americans. About 700,000 die each year from heart disease. It is vital that we all make lifestyle choices to stay healthy. Researchers point to similar factors in many diseases. The risk of heart disease is magnified for those who have high blood cholesterol. Eating foods low in saturated fat is reported to decrease blood cholesterol. Researchers also point to increased propensity for breast cancer among women with a diet that’s high in fat. Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet also contribute to a better chance of avoiding diabetes. There is never a better time to improve your lifestyle than yesterday. But doing it today is the next best thing. All of us are susceptible to illness. We don’t know if cancer, heart disease, diabetes or a host of other diseases will strike. But it behooves everyone to improve their lifestyle, get regular medical checkups, maintain a suitable weight, ensure a healthy diet, exercise and avoid tobacco use. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Palm Sunday, April I, the 91st day of 2007. There are 274 days left in the year. This is April Fool’s Day. Today’s I lighlight in I listory: On April 1.1945, American forces invaded Okinawa, Japan, during World War IL On this date: In 1853, Cincinnati established a fire department made up of paid city employees. In 1918, the Royal Air Force was established in Britain. In 1933, Nazi Germany began persecuting Jews with a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. In 1946, tidal waves struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths. Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852: New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Managing Editor Gerard MacCrossan Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising/Marketing Director Chuck Evers Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor Keri Kirby GUESTCOLUMN Reliable information sharing would benefit at-risk youth In an age when computers, emails, text messages and cell phones allow instant communication, certain state agencies are still behind the curve on the information highway. The multitude of state and local agencies responsible for community safety and the health and well being of at-risk youth and juvenile offenders should be sharing pertinent information. Unfortunately, to the detriment of Texas’ troubled youth, the agencies often do not communicate in a timely and reliable manner. I believe that sharing information is vital to the health and safety of young Texans and to the entire state. As a result, I filed Senate Bill 1311. My bill would direct the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, the Department of Family and Protective Services, the Texas Education Agency, juvenile probation departments, public school districts, charter schools, mental health and mental retardation agencies, county health departments and hospital districts involved with at-risk youth to share information. This information would include, but not be limited to, the youth’s identity, needs, mental health conditions and treatment and social, criminal, educational and vocational histories. Some information sharing profiler is are inherent in a system that involves dozens of state and local agencies. Some barriers are territorial, and others occur because current state law makes that information confidential. In addition, the complexity of state and federal laws and regulations that apply to each agency makes it difficult to decide what information may be shared legally. Senate Bill 1311 would require agencies to share and accept information relating to at-risk youth regardless of current laws that make such information confidential. This information would not be released to other state agencies, or to the general public, and it would be held in strictest confidence by the recipients. Juvenile probation officers and Child Protective Services caseworkers often are working with the same families. Children first encountered by CPS caseworkers later require the services of the juvenile probation department or a mental health agency. Some at-risk youth have mental health issues and some receive special serv ices through public schools, while others wind up in the juvenile justice system. Information shared in a timely manner could make a big difference to at-risk youth by providing more appropriate services or by intervening before juvenile justice services are necessary. Sharing information also would reduce duplication of services, thereby leveraging dollars, resources and staff. Currently, when information is exchanged, it is often on an informal, person-to-person basis that is not always reliable. 'Hie professional sharing of information among agencies that serve the same population of youth would benefit them, the community and the Texas taxpayer. A state mandate for multiagency information sharing for juvenile offenders with a mental impairment is already in place. We need to replicate that mandate. By doing so, we would help all at-risk youth receive the services that are appropriate to their situations and that will help them on their sometimes perilous journey to adulthood. JEFF WENTWORTH JeffWentworth is state senator for District 25, which includes Comal County. White House press secretary Tony Snow a model of faith Nobody dislikes Tony Snow. By acclamation, people who know him say the White I louse press secretary is the most decent, kind and encouraging human being they have ever met. Speaking from personal experience, I can testify not only to his inner warmth and outer kindness, but also to the goodness of his wife, Jill, and their three children. The return of Snow’s colon cancer comes only days after Elizabeth Edwards announced the return of her breast cancer. Snow was quick in his warm comments about the wife of the presidential candidate, which came just days before the discovery that cancer had moved to his liver. I Ie can identify with Elizabeth Edwards. At a Jan. 31 dinner for media people in conjunction with the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Snow revealed his soul to the 100-plus hardened journalists and others in a hotel banquet room. I Ie told us, ‘‘In many ways, having cancer was the very best Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60611, or leave an e-mail at calthomas.com. thing that ever happened to me, other than marrying my wife.” He said the death of his mother from colon cancer produced a “shadow that follows you.” I Ie said he wasn’t afraid of dying, but is afraid of leaving his wife and kids. These are human emotions with which everyone can identify, whether or not they have had to deal with a potentially fatal disease. Snow spoke about the importance of “faith and attitude. You have to make a choice about whether you want to live.” Speaking of a friend who had cancer in several parts of her body, he said faith and attitude are not decisive in whether you will live, “but they certainly are a great help, because those who give up, or give in to self-pity about how awful things are, a lot of times they don’t make it.” He said the disease caused him to ask where he would go with faith: “For a lot of us as kids, having faith is like sitting on Santa’s lap; you pray because you want things and you want outcomes. But instead when you’re faced with death, you don’t really die, you get to go to a cooler place with maybe a sterner teacher. It s not that big a leap and you’re going to see a lot of friends there.” Now there’s a sermon! So, how do you approach God, he wondered? Do you ask for favors, or do you do something that is very hard in the modern era, “which is learn how to give yourself to God, to surrender. It's not just saying ‘God, it’s in your hands,’ but understanding whatever may come afterwards is llllllllllllill MOW TO CONTACT United States Government a matter of not trying to get God to do stuff for you, except maybe to mow down some of the barriers that separate you from God, because for all of us, our vanities get in the way.” Snow says his deepening faith didn’t happen overnight. It began with realizing “how many people loved me.” He said a lot of life is figuring out you're not in charge and figuring out who is. He started to pray, he said, and began to sense a growing presence of God in his life. He said after his first cancer surgery many people sent him letters that included Bible verses. Among his favorites was Psalm 91:2-3: “I will say of the Lord, ‘I Ie is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.’” After his first cancer surgery, Snow said he had to stay in bed and he began reading the Bible more, “learning to pray” and to ask God to “draw me closer, please, (which) develops a hunger that is also a form of joy." I Ie said colleagues frequently ask him what he will do after the White House? He says he might have had an answer before, but now he has no clue. “I put everything in God’s hands.” President Bush asked the country to pray for Tony. It was the right request. Knowing Tony Snow, he also would ask for prayers for his wife and children and, oh yes, for Elizabeth Edwards and her husband. One thing Tony is not is stingy in his love for God and for others. He is an authentic Christian in faith and in works. PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: http://hutchison.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: http://cornyn.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2409 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longwcrth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: http://www.house.gov/cuellar SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 NOW TO CONTACT Texas Government nmimiiiiii GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ NATHAN MACIAS 1100 Congress Ave., Rm. E2.704 Austin TX 78701 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 - SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262 NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Casten Ave. P.O. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer bboyer @ nbtexas.org Telephone: (830) 221-4507 ■ Dist. I Councilwoman Sonia Munoz-Gill [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilwoman Beth Sokolyk [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilwoman Gale Pospisil . [email protected] Telephone: (830) 629-2447 ■ Dist. 4 Councilman Pat Wiggins [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-450 ■ Dist. 5 Councilman Kathleen Krueger [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-4505 ■ Dist. 6 Councilman Ken Valentine kvalentine @ nbtexas.org Telephone: (830) 221-4506 ;

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