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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 22, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zehung — Friday, April 22, 2005 FORUM Our Opinion Cast your ballot in city election Election day is May 7. We encourage all registered voters to do their civic duty and get out and vote. K now what we’d like to see? A city election turnout that was large enough to capture the undivided attention of every elected official, even those not running for office. Experience tells us that’s not likely to happen. Take the last two municipal elections, for example. In a hotly contested campaign in 2003, about 13 percent of the city’s 27,626 registered voters went to the polls to vote. A year earlier, about 12 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Any way you look at it, those are disappointing numbers. Think of it tliis way: Only one out of every eight registered voters care enough about what is going on in this city to take the time to vote. Which are you? A voter, or a citizen who can’t find the time to vote, but has plenty of time to gripe about the way city hall is run. We encourage all registered voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the upcoming election. Let’s show city leaders that we really do care about our community. I low? By showing up in record numbers at the polls. Let’s shoot for a turnout of 20 percent of registered voters. Election officials have made it easy for you to meet your civic responsibility. There are nine days of early voting remaining, including a half-day on Saturday, April 30. Just stop by Room 104 at the county courthouse anytime from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through May 3. Election Day is May 7. We know that midyear elections just don’t have the widespread appeal that the November general elections do, but they are every bit as important. So get out and vote. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Friday, April 22, the 112th day of 2005. There are 253 days left in the year. Today’s I lighlight in I listory: On April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims. On this date: In 1509, Henry VII! ascended the throne of England following the death of his father, Henry VIL In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase “In God We Trust’’ on U.S. coins. In 1930, the United States, Britain and Japan signed the London Naval Treaty, which regulated submarine warfare and limited shipbuilding. In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings near Hollandia. In 1954, the televised Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began. ELECTION 2006 ★ ★★★ Guidelines for election-related submissions ■ During the campaign period leading up to the May 7 elections, the Herald-Zeitung will accept letters to the editor and guest columns that deal with issues that are important to readers and citizens. ■ The newspaper will not run any letters or columns that endorse any candidate in any of the elections. ■ The cut-off date for receiving any election-related letters or guest columns is 5 p.m. Friday, April 29. No letters or columns received after this deadline will be published. 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 Gary E. Maitland Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bali Operations Director Vilma Linares News Editor David Rupkalvis Letters to the Editor Parents unite and force NBISD to admit bullying is a problem Hooray for parents who confront the NBISD administrators. I here is a huge problem in the middle schools in New Braunfels. In your city, my grandson had to face bullying by students in the form of vile name calling, cursing and discussions of subjects that are too pornographic to reveal publicly. There was also insensitive treatment by teachers that was hurtful. In the first few weeks, there were physical attacks — biting, kicking and grabbing of his eyeglasses that were tossed from student to student. It was suggested that this might be a form of initiation in a new school. All of this took place the first half of the school year. I could tell you much more, but it would be more than you want to know. With disgust, our family decided to enroll him in a private school. The administrators need to get their heads out of the sand and realize there are problems. Sure, its a matter of perception. Ask psychologists and they will tell you that perception of negative experiences cause adolescent depression, suicide and sometimes violent aggression (Columbine and recent school shooting in Minnesota). There are programs that schools can adopt to address these problems and they have helped in some areas that have faced these same kind of issues. Administrators should not blame the victim or deny the problems exist. It’s important that parents unite and help turn these problems around. Janine Stubbs Cuero Don’t believe school officials; bullying is a very big problem This is pertaining to the article in the April 19 issue of the Herald-Zeitung about New Braunfels Middle School and the comment Janet Patton made: “Don’t believe everything your child comes home and tells you. It’s not that they’re not telling what they perceive to be true, but they’re telling it from a 12- or 13-year-old perspective.” That comment struck me so hard, it just burns me up. I have always told my children to tell the truth about everything. As a parent, I owe it to my children to believe what they tell me, especially in a situation where there is a chance that harm could come to them. Bullying is a very big problem in schools these days. Ms. Patton, it just seems you want to look the other way. Do you even have children? Maybe in your day, bullying was no big deal, but times have really changed, or don’t you read the paper or listen to the news? Your comment was of pure ignorance and I can assure you, others feel the same way. It’s people like you who make me want to home-school my children so I know that they are safe! Kellie Kannard New Braunfels Celebrate Earth Day by making commitment to change diet The 25th anniversary of Earth Day should spur each of us to ensure that our irreplaceable natural environment will survive another 25 years. Indeed, it’s the perfect day to cut the environmental impacts of our shopping, our driving, our diet. Yes, our diet. Production of meat and other animal products dumps more pollution into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It’s the animal manure and the runoff from animal feed crops, which carries soil particles, salts, pesticides, fertilizers, and organic matter. Meat production has been degrading our forests to pastures, feed cropland, then arid wasteland. It is the greatest threat to wildlife habitats and preservation of endangered species. The grains and soybeans we feed to animals could sustain the 840 million starving people in the Third World. Today, let’s celebrate Earth Day in the most fitting way — by replacing meat and other animal products in our diet with a rich, tasty variety of vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. John Conrad New Braunfels HOW TO CONDUCT United States Government 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: (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: (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 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (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 HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government ™ GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 Toll Free: (866) 687-4961 Fax: (830) 627-8895 WHILE IN AUSTIN: RO. Box 2910 Austin 78768-2190 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 473-9920 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth ■ Judith Zaffirini RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Reporter’s lies about pie-throwing case are inexcusable ESr ANNCOULTER Ann Coulter is an attorney, author and a columnist for I Jni tarsal Press Syndicate. After my column last week, in which I noted that there had been a spate of food attacks on conservative speakers on college campuses within weeks of charges being dismissed against the “Deliverance” boys who threw pies at me at the University of Arizona, the prosecutor said it was my fault. (This column gets results!) David Berkman, chief criminal deputy in the office of Democrat Pima County Attorney Barbara La Wall, told The Arizona Daily Star that charges had to be dismissed because I didn’t show up for the trial. Of course, it’s hard to know what anyone said in this country based on newspaper accounts. The actual statements people make are filtered through reporters, who, as we know, are generally unexecutable in this country under Atkins v. Virginia (holding the death penalty for mentally retarded persons unconstitutional). Is the prosecutor a phony or the reporter a moron? In other words, is this a “Jeffrey Toobin situation” or a “Dan Rather situation ”? We report, you decide. In an article tided “Writer Coulter, arresting officer missed 1st trial,” reporter Kim Smith writes in the April 16 Arizona Daily Star: ■ “Pima County prosecutors plan to take another shot at two men accused of throwing pies at political writer Ann Coulter, even though she didn’t show up at their first trial last month.” ■ "Smith and Wolff were scheduled to go to trial March 18, but neither Coulter nor the arresting officer showed up, Berkman said.” ■ “Coulter was sent repeated notices of the court date” (all of which were appar-endy sent telepathically) “and she will be notified of the new court date as well, Berkman said. He said it should also be noted that Coulter never contacted prosecutors to find out the resolution of the case.” In fact, my verbatim reply in an e-mail dated Feb. 15,2005, to the only notice I ever received about my appearing at the trial was the following, preserved through the miracle of computers: “I remain very committed to pressing charges. What is the date of the trial? I do not live in AZ and it may be difficult for me to get there for the trial. Does the prosecutor believe he will have to call me as a witness? I believe there is videotape of the entire event and it is evident there on that I apprehended the attack and ran away.” I was never asked to attend any trial. Are crime victims in Pima County typically required to pester prosecutors with endless “When’s the tried?” phone calls? This trial received even less publicity than my recent speaking engagement at the school. I didn’t even get one of those “haven’t heard from you lately” postcards the publisher sends after you let a magazine subscription lapse. The need for a prosecutor to call me as a witness still seems completely absurd in light of the in-living-color videotape of the entire assault, vividly showing each element of the crime. But if called by the prosecutor, I would attend the trial with relish. I can’t wait to see if the defendants will try the novel “guy who throws like a girl” defense. Maybe I’ll even give another speech while I’m there. The only other notice I ever received about the trial was a postcard informing me that the case had been dismissed a few weeks ago. Contrary to the above news account, I called the number on the postcard after getting the notice, got an answering macliine, and left a message. Since then, I’ve been on a whirlwind speaking tour, giving a lot more college speeches and creating many more frustrated liberals deprived of the ability to mount a logical counterargument. In Berkman’s defense, his office is shorthanded, having been bleeding prosecutors in the last several months. That includes the departure of at least four female prosecutors, two of whom expressly said they were leaving because of the way Berkman treats women. So on the bright side, maybe Berkman allowed charges to be dismissed against my assailants not because I’m a conservative but because I’m a female. But there still remains the devilish issue of the accuracy of the reporter’s account. Daily Star reporter Smith also wrote: “Coulter couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday” (as a result of our not trying to reach Coulter for comment late Friday). Tip to aspiring reporters: If you want a comment... try asking! I’ll even type out my comment for you, Rim: “In a prepared statement, Coulter darkly hinted that prosecutors who fail to bring the pie assailants to justice will be held accountable for their actions — a charge that was tantamount to Coulter calling for a pie-throwing attack on the county attorney.” Reporting like that could earn you a coveted position covering Tom DeLay for The New York Times! ;