New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 19, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, April 19,1995 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ 3 AState and National News
AUSTIN (AP)—The Texas Senate has scrapped a revised vehicle emissions-testing program and instead approved a two-year moratorium on tailpipe tests.
“We're getting nowhere fast,” Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock said Tuesday before the 28-3 vote on the bill by Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.
The measure now goes to the House, which is writing its own revised emissions-testing program. A final proposal is expected to be worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.
Emissions testing, required by the federal Clean Air Act in areas with high levels of pollutants, was scheduled to begin earlier this year irr Dal-las-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston,
Beaumont-Port Arthur and El Paso.
However, the Legislature delayed the program until May 2 following complaints that the tests were too; costly and inconvenient. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered lawmakers to develop a new program or face the loss of federal highway funds.
Whitmire’s bill called for a decentralized testing program that would have allowed repair shops to conduct inspections and emissions tests at the same time. The new program was to begin June I.
But senators rejected that proposal and amended the bill to delay testing until Jan. 2,1997.
“Today’s vote sends a strong message to the EPA that we do have
options other than the Senate plan that I brought to the floor today and that would be do what the other states are doing, which is nothing,” Whitmire said.
Whitmire said 16 of 27 states that must meet the clean-air standards have stopped their testing programs or delayed them until the EPA clarifies its testing rules.
Supporters of a delay hope the EPA will loosen emissions requirements or that Congress will rewrite the Clean Air Act.
But opponents said a delay would not help reduce pollution and could prompt the EPA to make good on its threat to withhold federal highway construction funds.
Houston Post closes
HOUSTON (AP) — The nation’s fourth-largest city is now a one-newspaper town.
The Houston Post, which began in 1880, shut Tuesday, blaming a continuing sharp rise in the price of newsprint for its doom.
Hearst Corp., owner of the Post’s larger rival, the Houston Chronicle, then purchased the Post’s assets in what federal authorities said was a $ 120 million transaction.
The deal ended 94 years of competition between the two newspapers and made Houston the nation’s largest city with only one daily metropolitan paper.
“We fully recognize that the loss of The Houston Post, which has fallen victim to the inexorable economic
forces that have caused more than 98 percent of America’s markets to be served by only one newspaper, increases the responsibility that the Chronicle has to the Houston community,” Frank A. Bennack, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Hearst, said.
“We intend to do our very best to continue the strong tradition of community service which this great city’s newspapers have always provided.”
William Dean Singleton, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Newspapers Inc., parent company of The Post, said while the decision was not easy, it was simple.
“The newsprint hits were just too big,” he said. “You know, as a newspaperman, it’s sad. As a businessman,
it was the right thing to do.” Newsprint prices, which can make up 20 percent or more of a newspaper’s costs, are now at their highest level since 1988 and are expected to be up roughly 40 percent for the year.
Singleton said The Post was taking a 69 percent hit, adding $ 18 million to its annual newsprint bill, an expense thaf would have wiped out an operating profit the newspaper achieved in each of the last seven years since he pur* chased it. i
“I feel very good about how w^ operated the newspaper,” he said. “I feel very good about the management team and the job they did.
Clinton challenges Congress to give him a welfare reform bill by July 4
WASHINGTON (AP) — Playing to television’s equivalent of a near-empty house, President Clinton earnestly argued his case for re-election and disputed die notion that he’s irrelevant in the Republican-dominated political debate.
“The Constitution gives me relevance, the power of our ideas gives me relevance, the record we have built up over the last two years and the things we’re trying to do to implement it give me relevance,” Clinton said forcefully at a news conference Tuesday night when asked about the major TV networks’ lack of interest in the East Room event.
“I am willing to work with Republicans. The question is, are they willing to work with me,” said Clinton, who has been eclipsed by the burst of activity from the GOP-led Congress in its first IOO days.
To the disappointment of the White House, CBS was the only one of the “Big Three” ‘networks to carry his prime-time news conference live; ONN and C-SPAN did too. ABC and NBC showed hit sitcoms, instead, on grounds that Clinton’s East Room appearance
wouldn’t be particularly newsworthy.
The president, in fact, did not break major new ground in what was just the fourth prime-time news conference of his 27-month presidency. He challenged Republicans to put a welfare-reform bill on his desk by July 4 and said he was sympathetic to Americans* frustration about the tax system but didn’t see any good proposals to change it.
The flat tax, espoused mostly by Republicans, would give unfair tax breaks to Americans with incomes above $200,000 and raise taxes for people making less than that, Clinton said.
“We can’t explode the deficit and we can’t be unfair,” he said, adding that, “The studies are not promising on the proposals that are out there now.”
Clinton has proposed a welfare reform measure that would require people to return to work within two years to keep receiving benefits, and which would provide vouchers for job retraining. He criticized a GOP-spon-sored bill as “too weak and too tough on children.” It would deny cash wel
fare benefits to teen-age mothers.
Uncharacteristically, Clinton kept his answers short, allowing room for more questions than usual.
He grinned broadly when a correspondent invited him to finish the sentence beginning, “I believe I should be re-elected president in 19% because
With no hesitation, Clinton replied, “I believe I should be re-elected because I have done what I have said I would do, because we have got good results, because the policies that I now advocate, most.importantly, will address the outstanding problems of the country.”
Two days after Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole said he might not allow a vote on Dr. Henry Foster’s nomination as surgeon general, Clinton said he will “go to the mat” to win confirmation. “I think he (Foster) knows that it will be difficult. I think that he has been warned repeatedly.”
On a foreign policy dispute with Russia and China, Clinton argued that it is not in best interests of either country to sell nuclear technology to Iran, suspected of trying to acquire nuclear
“I intend to continue to be quite aggressive on it,” said Clinton, who will hold a Moscow summit next month with Boris Yeltsin.
On other subjects, Clinton:
—Said former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s newly published memoirs should not be used to open old wounds over the Vietnam War. Three decades after the fact, McNamara wrote that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was “terribly wrong.”
“I believe our policy was incorrect. I believe the book supports that conclusion.” said Clinton, who had demonstrated against the war as a student and successfully evaded the draft.
—Insisted that it wasn’t the proper time to “launch a re-evaluation” of the morality of dropping atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II or to apologize to Japan. “President Truman did the right thing,” he said.
—Said the United States supports a strong dollar, but that “in the present climate, the government’s ability to affect currency in the short mn may be limited.” Despite the greenback’s plunge against German and Japanese
currencies, Clinton called the U.S. economy fundamentally sound.
—Said “we’re not on the edge of a breakthrough” in peace talks between Syria and Israel but said that does not mean there’s an impasse.
—Announced he was granting Montana and Missouri waivers from federal rales to give them more flexibility in adopting welfare programs of their own. That brings to 27 the number of states with such waivers.
V 133 Landa Street I
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New trap could wipe out pesky med-fly
WASHINGTON (AP) — Government researchers have developed a new trap as part of the effort to keep the notorious Mediterranean fruit fly from becoming established in North America.
The Agriculture Department is seeking a patent for the trap. Researchers say it will be less expensive, easier to handle and more effective than traps currently being used for the particularly destructive pest.
One advantage is that the new traps can target female Medflies before they mate and layVggs in fruit.
The current traps lure the flies with a liquid protein bait that must be mixed with water and set in a glass container. It uses a chemical scent to attract Medflies — and lots of other flies that.aren’t
Committ** Indorses Judicial Selection Bill With Partisan Vote
AUSTIN (AP)—With a vote along party lines, a Senate committee has
being targeted, making sorting a tedious task, said Nancy Epsky, a research entomologist at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service facility in Gainesville, Fla.
The new trap is more specific to its target and uses a dry, synthetic chemical lure in a plastic cylinder banded in green, orange or yellow, combining scent with color to attract the flies, she said. Unlike conventional traps that require weekly service, the new trap’s lure lasts for six weeks.
The new traps also are expected to cost less than die $5 to $10 each for a conventional trap, Epsky said. The lures are an additional expense, but the new ones are also expected to cost less than the conventional ones.
In the United States, the traps are
Bob Bullock, Texas House Speaker Pete Laney and two lawmakers from both chambers — voted unanimously Tuesday that gross fiscal mismanagement was rampant at the commission. The committee recommended that
used mainly for detecting Medfly populations. The fly, which hits a large variety of fruits and vegetables and is one of the most damaging of pests globally, is found in Central and South America, the Mediterranean area and Africa.
In the United States, the fly was found in California as recently as last year and in Florida in the early 1980s. There are no established populations in the country, and researchers and growers want to keep it that way, Epsky said.
Beyond detection and monitoring, however, the new trap also shows promise as a control tool, since it can lure females before they mate and lay their eggs, she said.
In field trials in Guatemala, up to 65 percent of the females caught in the trap had not yet mated, compared with 22 percent in the conventional, protein-bait traps, according to ARS research.
“We’re trying to get in there before she lays eggs and stop the cycle nght there,” Epsky said.
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endorsed a plan that proposes to change t^e governor appoint a three-member
the way judges are selected in Texas.
The bill, which would require a constitutional amendment, now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
If the bill by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, passes the Legislature with a two-thirds vote, Texas voters will decide whether to adopt the new election system.
Four Democrats on the Senate Jurisprudence Committee voted for the bill Tuesday evening, enough for approval despite the “no” votes of the panel’s three Republicans.
The bill would institute nonpartisan elections for state district judges and gubernatorial appointment of appeals court judges. Judges would remain on the bench through a system of uncontested retention elections, during which Texans would vote yes or no to keep a judge.
Commission Closer To Conservatorship
AUSTIN (AP) — The troubled Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drag Abuse is headed for state conservatorship, with Gov. George W. Bush agreeing that such a takeover is needed.
The six-member Legislative Audit Committee — consisting of Lt. Gov.
panel to take over for the current board. Bush agreed without wasting any time.
“I concur with members of the Legislative Audit Committee that... mismanagement has existed at this agency. It is now our job to find out what went wrong in the past and ensure that management changes are made so this cannot happen in the future,” Bush said.
He added that he will work quickly to find three people “who are above reproach” to take control of the commission.
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