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Brazosport Facts Newspaper Archives Dec 9 1999, Page 4

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The Facts (Newspaper) - December 9, 1999, Clute, Texas The facts thursday december 9 1999 Bill Cornwall editor publisher David Bloom managing editor email measuring Mars mess Hope is about gone for the Mars Polar Lander this time there is a much greater attention and concern than in the disappearance of the Mars climate orbiter but the apparent loss of two Bud get priced space probes this year is going to Rouse Public questions about Cost and Cor Ner cutting the orbiter loss was a costly Bobble whose manner of failure was incredible particularly in an organization that works heavily in math and measures at million the orbiter was designed to be a Model of Economy for a space venture it was intended to impress Congress with nasal ability to Cut costs a few weeks ago the orbiter was programmed to Circle Mars and provide a look at the Back Side and give information on Mars climate it went behind the planet As instructed and never reappeared just vanished crashed an examination showed an incredible error it was a glitch that were All too familiar with Here on the Earth it confounds us often when we have need to do mechanical repair work it affects our sense of values it has to do with the Way space is measured on the highways the Usa measures distance in Miles Mexico and most other nations define Road distance in Kilometres most science including Medicine measures Quantity in liners and cubic centimetres most american consumer products Are sold in pounds and ounces and in quarts and ounces and cups a part of the orbiters voyage was Man aged flawlessly in metric instructions while British units were somehow involved in navigational orders intended to put the ves Sel in orbit this error prone use of dual values int unique to the space program a great Many mechanical devices we use have the same problem a Marine engine May have parts designed and manufactured in several coun tries and that one engine May have bolts and fittings in both metric and British Mea sures most alcoholic spirits Are dispensed in liners Here in the us most other con Sumer liquids such As detergents cooking Oil and fruit juices Are sold off the shelves in multiples and portions of quarts a mental conversion is difficult one can visualize the value of a 36inch Waist but not one that 91plus centimetres the metric equivalent a Strong consensus would support a slow move toward phasing out the dual system of measures ii has to be gradual and indeed it is in this manner already taking place we have too much personal inventory in items sold by the Inch and ounce to abruptly aban Don the system that was once almost univer Sal in the Usa almost for from the first America Dis carded the Clumsy British Pound and shilling in favor of the metric Dollar and dime possibly the attention aroused by the orbiter will Speed up the move toward a single global system of measures today editorial was written by Glenn Heath former executive editor of the facts on behalf of the facts editorial Board ignore canal hysteria the chinese will get you if you dont watch out or at least that is what some critics of this country Panama canal treaty allege if the United states does not renege on this decade sold treaty they say the chinese firm of Hutchison Khampoa a supposed front for the chinese government will be in control of the strategically vital canal and May even Start sneaking missiles into Panama this preposterous notion reminiscent of fears expressed when the treaty squeezed through the Senate by just one vote in 1977 is brought on now because the United states will turn Over the last remaining pieces of canal zone property to Panama on dec 14 but As published reports make Clear there Are any number of reasons to dismiss the dire warnings As lacking any credibility whatsoever first off Hutchison Khampoa will not control the canal it won a contract to run a couple of ports that All panamanians get Ting lots of help from technicians will be in charge of the canal next the Hutchison Khampoa managers at these port facilities Are British and american they dont happen to employ any chinese the company itself is an International conglomerate that is publicly held the Man in charge is chinese but was a Hong Kong resident Long before the chinese government took Over that Colony he is described in a recent news account As a billionaire capitalist those opposed to the turnover can imagine All the goblins they want but those imaginings should have no influence on policy today National editorial was written by Jay Ambrose and distributed by Scripps Howard news service you two doctor id Tite f of by Alvins restaurant smoking ban was the right thing to do the Alvin City Council passed an ordinance Banning smoking in restaurants this ordinance became effective nov 5 the City did provide a 90day Grace period to give smokers and nonsmokers alike an Opportunity to adjust to the new ordinance after the 90day Grace period is up on feb 5 2000 the enforcement of the ordinance will be in effect this Means that anyone who Vio lates the nonsmoking ordinance could be fined up to for each infraction after six months has elapsed the Council will receive comments from citizens As to How they feel this smoking ban has affected them i have listened to Many people on both sides of the Fence on this matter there Are Many Dif Ferent viewpoints but it seems to me that the prevalent thread which binds the theme of those who Are against the smoking ban is that they feel their rights have been violated How can you violate a right when that right results in so Many offensive situations and medical problems for the people around you do you Ever Stop and consider the rights of your neighbors whether they Are in a restau rant car Home or wherever you May be dont those people have a right to clean air not polluted with your smoke i am not a smoker but i grew up with parents who smoked my father would never smoke in the House but smoked his cigars in the garage where he had a Small smoking area my father died at a relatively Early age with smoking a contributing cause of his death we didst know How bad smoking As Well As secondhand smoke was 25 years ago we know now Why do we still maintain that we can violate each other with our smoking we certainly dont condone someone drinking and driving we dont want those things to happen to us that bring about mental physical or med ical problems another piece of this theme is that i will just go out of town to this reminds me of when i was a youngster Many years ago and a group of us were playing a game if the game didst go the Way of whoever owned the Ball they would just take the Ball and go Home we live in a society that is the Best Ever Cre ated each of us has a responsibility to each other if what i do infringes upon you to the extent that your health or Well being is jeopardized then i have crossed the Boundary of what my rights Are As an individual this cite Council passed this ordinance with All these things in mind if this ordinance pre vents someone from exposure to smoke that might result in a medical problem then it is Worth it All of the medical research has proven that without a doubt smoking is harmful to every one those who smoke and those individuals who must breathe the smoke i Hope each of us can be tolerant of each other and respect the fact that we be imposing our will or our smoke on those who dont feel the same Way about things As we do the vast majority of the people i have talked to restaurant owners waitresses diners in the restaurant people on the Street have been in favor of the ban and want it to continue we have been approached by other cities to find out Why we decided to implement this ban the answer is pure and simple As the Constitution of the says one of the responsibilities of government is to promote the general welfare of its with All of the information available it was an appropriate decision to implement the smoking ban because it would help promote the general Wel fare of the people i Hope you can feel that this was the Best course of action to take in weighing All factors in the balance this truth emerged do what is Best for your citizens its great to live in Alvin i Hope we can All support this smoking ordinance and believe it is the Best thing we can do for All our people Doug Balkum Alvin City Council benign sounding wetlands policy is promoting flooding the latest chapter in the Texas air War is a series of ads being run by conservation groups criticizing Bush for his environmental record Texas air Quality could definitely stand some improvement but interestingly enough some environmental organizations have been causing environmental problems themselves environmental activists lobbied successfully a few years ago for legislation requiring that property confiscated by Federal buyouts is designated As wetlands measure sounds innocent enough in practice it has fostered the proliferation of the so called friends of flooding groups which lobby to Block flood control measures As a strategy to maximize the number of homeowners that will flood and be forced to take Federal buyouts activists deceptively refer to this tactic As voluntary As Many As families nationwide have already lost their Homes to this practice which ironically is itself causing environmental dam age displaced families dont just go live on the streets but Are forced to build yet another Home which doubles the acreage cleared for Homes doubles the acreage cleared for Timber and doubles Runoff from housing development which worsens Stream erosion and downstream flooding problems buyout proponents never mention these considerations Texas has been particularly hard hit by this tactic which has been largely responsible for causing flood losses in the Houston area to now rank third in the nation what is even More disturbing is that i have seen propaganda distributed by As Many As four such organizations All soliciting donations All claiming to be tax advantaged and All listing the same individuals As Points of Contact it would appear that if individuals Are going to be granted an endowment for writing a work of fiction it be for filling out multiple applications for tax advantaged status Gene Cook Friendswood write us the facts does not use Anonymous or unsigned letters and writ ers must include an address and daytime Telephone num Ber which will not be published we Reserve the right not to print any letter letters should be mailed to the facts letters to the Edi Tor Box 549 Clute Texas 77531 our fax num Ber is 2659052 our email address is thank you letters acclaim is open to All who wish to express thanks to a group or individual please include your name address and a daytime phone number Send let ters to the facts acclaim Box 549 Clute Texas 77531 acclaim runs on mondays our fax number is 265 9052 our email address is doonesbury by Garry Trudeau Cope re pealing the 1986 tax v Eitt that actclqs5p thrust tips of loopholes it wa5 a Reform act Pont we Reform Reform is Fol for

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