Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 23, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 — HERALD-ZEfTUNG — Wednesday, March 23, 2011 FORUM Herald-Zeitung Serving New BraunfeU and Comal County time It52, New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852, New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged m 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Editor and Publisher Managing Editor Circulation Director Business Manager .s-    4» Our Opinion Doug Toney Autumn Phillips Jeff Fowler Rosie Willingham WMB S*    wt SB 1595 fair way to fund EARIP As those planning for the future of the Edwards Aquifer work toward the creation of an expansive plan to protect the aquifer and the endangered species in its springs — the largest question still looms. How will implementation of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) be funded? In January, Robert Gulley, program manager for the l ARIP estimated costs at more than $31 million a year. Officials in March put the estimate closer to $26.8 million. I his month, our representative State Sen. Jeff Wentworth filed a SB 1595, which mirrors a similar bill in the House by Rep. John Garza. I Jnder the bill, an election would be held for the approval of a .25 percent sales tax — or a "quarter of a penny," Wentworth said — to fund the EARIR Advocates of the bill say it would raise $30 million a year by taxing the 16-county region served by Edwards Aquifer Authority, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and San Antonio River Authority. The bill divides the responsibility for protecting this important natural resources among those who use it, including the tourists who recreate on the rivers. I he proposed sales tax would also fund a plan now being developed to set aside environmental flows from the Guadalupe and San Antonio rivers for the endangered whooping crane and other wildlife. I he EARIP has been in the works for three years and is a positive move forward for protecting the health of our water and wildlife habitat for generations to come. But funding is and will remain an issue. funding it through a .25 percent sales tax is a fair and reasonable approach. The bill would give residents in the 16-county region the choice to tax themselves. Once it is approved, the tax would be permanent. “Because water is a permanent need,” Wentworth said. I his is a resolution to a very complicated and long-lived challenge. It’s not going to cost much at all. (hie quarter of one penny is not much to ask at all to help provide water for years to come.” Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, March 23,2011. On March 23,1775, Patrick Henry delivered an address to the Virginia Provincial Convention in which he is said to have declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!” In 1743, George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" had its Ixindon premiere. In 1792, Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major (the "Surprise" symphony) was performed publicly for the first time, in London. In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east. In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy. In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers. In 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic. AP News Analysis Don’t expect quick ending for Gadhafi By Tom Raum The Associated Press Don't expect a quick ending in Libya. There's a real possibility that Moammar Gadhafi could stave off the U.S. and its international partners, clinging to power in a drawn-out and increasingly dangerous standoff. Confusion among allies over their goals and who's leading the mission is complicating the matter. President Barack Obama conceded the possibility that Gadhafi could stubbornly hang on, telling reporters in H Salvador, "Unless he is willing to step down... there is still going to be potential threats toward the Libyan people." He added: "And we would continue to support the efforts to protect the Libyan people. But we will not be in the lead. " Gadhafi has a long history of digging in and enduring, after all. He's held power in the north African country for 42 years and survived U.S. air strikes in 1986 against his compound in Tripoli. This time, narrowly limited objectives for the allied mission, including assertions by Obama that Gadhafi himself isn't being targeted militarily, may encourage him to hunker down in the capital city, surrounded by his followers and militiamen, and try to outwait and outmaneuver the West. "We are preparing for a long and glorious war," Gadhafi declared in a radio address on Sunday. In the first war that he didn't inherit from predecessor George W. Bush, Obama has made a strong point of insisting that regime change is not his military goal — and that the U.S. is just one of many international partners. Obama still reiterates that Gadhafi must go, but he stops short of saying just how that might happen, talking in broad terms of tools besides military action that the international community has to achieve the goal, including sanctions and the freezing of overseas assets. The dangers of the military effort were driven home on Tliesday with the crash of an American fighter jet, although it was due to mechanical failure and was in territory held by friendly rebels. Both crew members were rescued. Also on Tuesday, the on-scene commander of the international coalition said civilians were under attack by Gadhafi's forces in Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city and one Obama has insisted Gadhafi must vacate. U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear told Pentagon reporters the coalition was "considering all options" in light of the attacks, but he didn't elaborate. The air strikes and other military actions have cut off Gadhafi from the oil-rich eastern parts of his country that have been under rebel control. But Gadhafi, controlling much of the western part of the country including its capital of Tripoli, clearly isn't about to throw in the towel. Obama's policy—put into effect after Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly cautioned that bombing to establish a no-fly zone was basically an act of war — is generating growing worries and criticism on Capitol Hill from members of both parties. Even some Democrats and GOP moderates who generally support Obama on military issues are raising concerns that Libya — whiose terrain resembles that of Iraq but which is four times as large — could become a military quagmire. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned of becoming ensnaried "in a situation in which war lingers on, in country after country" across the region. Obama said it would be "days, not weeks" until the U.S. turns over effective military leadership of the coalition. But Army Gen. Carter Ham, the lead U.S. commander, has said he "would not put a date certain on this." Benjamin Friedman, a research fellow with the libertarian CATO Institute, suggested that "rhetoric about ousting Gadhafi notwithstanding, our policy serves to stalemate the civil war, effectively severing Libya. That seems a recipe for a long stay." Top officials agree on plan to fix current Texas budget AUST IN — A proposal to handle the state’s immediate problem — insufficient revenue to meet current obligations — emerged from the Capitol last week. Gov. Rick Perry’s office on March 15 announced that Gov. Perry, House Speaker Joe Straus and Comptroller Susan Combs now agree to close out fiscal year 2011 by taking these actions: • Moving forward with $800 million in spending cuts, plus using: • $300 million from increased sales tax collections over the last few months, plus using: • A one-time draw not to exceed $3.2 billion from the state’s $9.4 billion Economic Stabilization Fund, widely referred to as the “Rainy Day” fund. Of course, debates and votes on this proposal would need to take place at committee level and then by the full House and Senate. Now Perry, to emphasize that budget writers won’t be able to turn right around and dip into the fund for an instant replay, said he remains "steadfastly committed to protecting the remaining balance” of the fund and will not sign a 2012-2013 state budget that uses the fund. (That budget “Texas Capital Highlights" is written weekly by Ed Sterling member services director of the Texas Press Association. has a projected revenue deficit of $27 billion.) Speaker Straus said, “Now that most agencies have made substantial cuts from their current budgets, using part of the Rainy Day Fund to pay for the rest of our bills—even as we continue to look for more savings — is the conservative and fiscally responsible way to meet our constitutional duty to balance the budget. “The Rainy Day Fund was created to help manage just such unexpected declines in state revenue. We will do so while preserving more than $6 billion in the fund to cover unexpected emergencies in the future,” Straus said. And Combs said, “Sales tax revenue has done well in recent months because of increased business and consumer activity, which will help close the 2011 deficit. And as I mentioned in recent testimony, it is also important to keep the state’s future budget needs in mind in our decision making of today.” By resolving the current shortfall, Texas leaders can focus on completing the 2012-2013 budget without raising taxes, Perry's office said. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who pre sides over the Senate, applauded recent budget-cutting efforts by the House Appropriations Committee and said he has asked the Senate Finance Committee to reduce state spending up to $10 billion in 2012-2013 without raising taxes. And, on March 17, Dewhurst announced the formation of a new Senate Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters “to find up to $5 billion in savings and non-tax revenue to balance the budget.” The panel will be chaired by Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock. Education funding cuts proposed The budget-writing House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee have been working on ways to cut the biggest slice of the state budget pie: education. The Senate panel's proposal would cut about $4 billion from current levels while the House panel is proposing some $8 billion in education cuts. Among many cost-reducing suggestions on the table are increasing the student-teacher ratio, layoffs, unpaid furloughs, discontinuation of various administrative reports and the limiting of high-stakes testing. Vehicle screening system begins The Texas Department of Public Safety on March 15 announced it is equipping five of its truck inspection facilities at three separate locations with new commercial vehicle safety technology starting this summer. “PrePass,” the new technology, enables qualified commercial trucks equipped with transponders to be screened at designated weigh stations. Cleared vehicles can then bypass the inspection facility while traveling at highway speed, according to an agency news release. DPS Director Steve McCraw said, “By screening commercial vehicles at highway speeds for compliance with Texas safety and credential requirements, we can help our troopers and inspectors focus on those commercial vehicles most in need of inspections.” GOP sets 10th Amendment bills House Concurrent Resolution 50 was voted favorably from the House Select Committee on State Sovereignty on March 11. There is an identical Senate version, SCR 14. Both resolutions assert a “states’ rights” philosophy, which pushes back against federal mandates, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010. According to the governor’s office, “the resolutions claim sovereignty for Texas under the 10th Amendment, and assert that the 10th Amendment limits the scope of federal power to the powers specifically granted by the U.S. Constitution.” United States flfimmn Government PRESIDENT ■ Barack Obama 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 Longworth 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: 615 E. Houston St. San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government mmmm ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Doug Miller EXT E 1.216 RO. Box 2910 Austin TX 78768-2910 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512)463-5896 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: jeff. wentworth @senate.state.tx.us NEWB R A UN F ELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Castell Ave. P.O. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 (830) 221-4000 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer bboyer@ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4507 ■ Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata rzapata @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner mgoodner@ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra mybarra @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4503 ■ Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte snolte @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4504 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Kathleen Krueger kkrueger@nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4505 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Steven Digges sdigges@ nbtexas.org Telephone: Ex ten s io n 4506 Comal County Commissioners' Court 199 Main Plaza New Braunfels,Tx 78130 (830) 221-1100 ■ COUNTY JUDGE SHERMAN KRAUSE krause@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1105 ■ PCT. 1 COMMISSIONER DONNA ECCLES0N cctdme@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1101 ■ PCT. 2 COMMISSIONER SCOn HAAG haagsc@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1102 ■ PCT. 3 COMMISSIONER GREG PARKER cctgep@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1103 ■ PCT. 4 COMMISSIONER JAN KENNADY cctjk@co.comal.tx.us Telephone: (830) 221-1104